Anoka-Ramsey, partners, awarded $19.6 million healthcare training grant

Anoka-Ramsey Community College learned recently that it will partner with nine community colleges across the country in a $19.6 million federal workforce training grant that targets the health professions.

The grant was announced by the U.S. Department of Labor, as part of a $500 million round of workforce training awards to community colleges by the Obama administration.

“Anoka-Ramsey is excited to begin work with nine other colleges from around the nation to create new opportunities for entry into Health Care Professions,” said Anoka-Ramsey Director of Nursing and grant contributor, Jennifer Eccles. “Anoka-Ramsey specifically has been awarded $1.31 million to create new programs, including a Fast-Track Associate in Science Degree in Nursing program, and a Fast-Track Physical Therapist Assistant degree program over the next three years. This allows us to serve more students, including displaced workers eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance, who seek an education leading to meaningful employment in two years or less, as we strive to meet the needs of our community workforce.”

The lead college will be Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Part of the impetus for the grant came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a result of its research into a pioneering health workforce training program launched in Cincinnati. That program, known as the Health Careers Collaborative, has seen Cincinnati State, hospitals and other organizations in the area work together to help individuals get the training they need to land jobs or improve their chances for promotion if they already have jobs.

Joining Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Ohio in the Health Professions Pathways (H2P) Consortium are: Pine Technical College, Minn.; El Centro College and Texarkana College, Texas; Ashland Community and Technical College and Jefferson Community and Technical College, Ky.; Owens Community College, Ohio; City Colleges of Chicago, Ill.; and Community College of the District of Columbia.

The consortium has three major goals:

  • Provide low-skilled workers with adequate preparation, support and opportunities to complete postsecondary training in health professions that provide credentials aligned with job advancement
  • Expand and enhance the health care workforce with the competencies needed by industry
  • Build the capacity of community colleges to continuously assess student and employment outcomes and use this information to improve the quality of health professions programs.

For more information about this or other innovative programs at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, visit