Rogue Community College’s (RCC) proposed creation of a new Allied Health education and training facility on its Redwood Campus in Grants Pass has been included in a slate of projects forwarded by U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden for Fiscal year 2023 (FY23) Senate appropriations funding consideration.
Senators Wyden and Merkley recently announced RCC’s selection, along with a 110 other Oregon-based community-initiated projects from across the state, to be included in FY23 federal funding bills. Each project was selected to help meet critical needs, including investing in wildfire and drought resiliency, affordable housing, health care, education, and more, while creating essential services and jobs.
“We are honored to have our Allied Health training facility project included in this bill’s strategic investments helping Oregonians build economic resiliency and healthier communities,” said Rogue Community College President Randy Weber. “We are very grateful to Senators Merkley and Wyden for prioritizing the education of new healthcare workers in our region through these building renovation funds.”
Funds requested for the Allied Health capital project at RCC total $3.615M and would support a portion of the total cost to renovate an existing building previously used for science education. The building became available as a result of RCC’s newly constructed Science Center, funded through a previous bond measure. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the now completed Science Center is slated for August 30, at 10am. The public is invited.
With the FY23 proposed funding and the resulting renovations, RCC’s Allied Health training opportunities will expand for those seeking jobs in certified nursing assisting (CNA), dental assisting, medical assisting and medical office assisting or as pharmacy technicians or phlebotomists.
According to Juliet Long, RCC Vice President of Student Learning and Success,” the project was chosen to specifically address the worker shortage in the region and to support identified programs that address healthcare employment needs for the Rogue Valley.” The currently identified programs will vary from six weeks to one year for completion. Program seats will be available to both adult students as well as high school students pursuing dual enrollment options in RCC’s career and technical education programs.
Weber added, “Future graduates from the Allied Health programs will be vital to our existing economic development efforts and the growing need for trained healthcare workers. Families, healthcare organizations and businesses across Southern Oregon will be strengthened and supported as a result of this commitment.”
The Senate bills next need to be merged with legislation produced by the House of Representatives, a process expected later in the year. The Senators will continue to advocate that the Oregon projects are included in the combined bill.
“I am pleased to have worked with my colleagues on the committee and Senator Wyden to secure funding for 111 of these important homegrown projects, and we’ll keep pushing to get them across the finish line for Oregonians,” said Senator Merkley.
“I’m gratified the teamwork with Oregonians who know their local priorities best has produced such promising federal investments to strengthen communities all across Oregon,” Senator Wyden said. “Bottom line, our state’s communities are focused on coming together to forge Oregon Way solutions that build a better state just like these targeted investments, and I’ll keep battling to make sure these projects advance.”
The 111 Oregon community-initiated projects were spread out among bills produced by the Appropriations subcommittees, including 20 projects in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies subcommittee, of which Senator Merkley is Chair.
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