For Immediate Release
May 28, 2002
For More Information Contact:
the press office
The leaders of eight Boston health care and research facilities joined Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Commonwealth Corporation today to announce the launch of a new workforce training program called the "Boston Health Care and Research Training Institute." Funded with $220,000 of linkage funds from Boston's Neighborhood Jobs Trust plus $535,000 from the Commonwealth's BEST program, over 500 individuals will receive occupational skills training in the health care field.
"One of our strongest economic industries is health care," said Mayor Menino. "It generates more than $1 billion in funding from the NIH and nearly 100,000 people depend on this industry for their paycheck. To keep our health care industry strong, we have to make sure that our workforce is the best prepared in the world."
The consortium of employers includes: Children's Hospital; New England Baptist; Harvard Medical School; Beth Israel Deaconess; Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Brigham and Women's Hospital;.Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital; and Faulkner Hospital. The two community organizations that will supply the training and case management for the program are the Fenway Community Development Corporation and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation.
The new Institute will build on the successful "Bridges to the Future" career ladders program that trains entry level employees to assume jobs which require greater technical skills. The program also offers occupational skills training to unemployed and underemployed Boston residents so they may enter the health care field.
The city's funds will help provide 30 city residents job training to help them secure entry-level positions in the Longwood Medical Area. In addition, 60 current area employees who are Boston residents will receive incumbent worker training that will enable them to move into higher-level jobs. Twenty-four supervisors will also receive training.
Health care is one of the largest sectors of the Boston-area economy and in recent years faced significant labor shortages of technical workers. Both Mayor Menino and Governor Jane Swift have directed their administrations to support efforts to upgrade the skills of incumbent workers and prepare unemployed and underemployed individuals for health care careers.
The Neighborhood Jobs Trust administers linkage funds from large-scale development to provide funding for pre-employment and incumbent worker training for Boston's residents. The BEST Initiative, a program of several of the Commonwealth's education and workforce development agencies, supports industry driven partnerships committed to reducing skill shortages and ensuring career mobility.