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CCCCD Joins Forces to Serve Northeast Texas Healthcare Needs

CCCCD JOINS FORCES TO SERVE NORTHEAST TEXAS HEALTH CARE NEEDS

January 5, 2005 - Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) has recently joined with five educational partners--Grayson County College, North Central Texas College, Northeast Texas Community College, Paris Junior College and Texarkana College--to ensure that an ample, well-trained workforce exists to meet the health care needs of the region’s citizens and the staffing needs of the medical industry.

These institutions have received a Carl D. Perkins Grant to form the Northeast Texas Workforce Consortium for Health Professionals (NTWCHP). The consortium brings together stakeholders from education and the health care industry across 18 counties of northeast Texas to create a regional plan to bridge the gap between health care demands and the supplies of both allied health faculty and health care professionals.

According to CCCCD President Cary Israel, the program is important because it addresses an underlying cause of regional healthcare shortages—a lack of college faculty. “Our college has graduated hundreds of nursing and allied health professionals who are now working, but North Texas will benefit greatly by increasing the capacity,” he said. “Community colleges are well-equipped to respond to community needs because we can move quickly.”

Dr. Camille Pridgen, program director in the Community and Technical Colleges Division of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), is THECB mentor for the grant.

Dr. Pridgen affirms the significance of this planning effort in the northeast Texas region. “There are critical personnel shortages in most of the health professions, especially in the nursing and allied health professions. Lack of faculty presents one of the biggest hurdles to expanding the educational programs in these fields.

"I am very excited that the Northeast Texas Workforce Consortium for Health Professionals is trying to address this problem. Successful completion of this project could provide a template for the rest of the state to address personnel shortages. This is vital work toward meeting the goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015, the state’s higher education plan,” said Dr. Pridgen.

For more information, contact Betsey Attel, project director, Northeast Texas Workforce Consortium for Health Professionals, eattel@collin.edu or call 214.563.7109.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.