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Idaho College Gets $6.4M Grant To Train Health Care Workers

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Coeur d’Alene's North Idaho College received a major grant Monday to train people in rural areas for hard-to-fill jobs in the health care industry.

  The $6.4 million grant is the largest in the community college's history. It’s part of a job training program set up in the 2009 stimulus package.

Lita Burns, the school's vice president of instruction, said hospitals have told them it’s hard to get people trained as technicians and assistants -- such as EMTs and dental assistants -- to re-locate from another state.

“Often times it’s easier to bring in some of the higher-end health care providers -- physicians, radiologists -- so, we are trying to make sure that all the different segments of health care have enough workers to be able to support health care in a region,” Burns said, referring to northern and eastern Idaho.

The idea is to let students do some classes remotely and get on-site training in local hospitals.

NIC is collaborating with two other colleges and Idaho State University. In all, they expect to serve students in 26 counties in Idaho. That includes areas with some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

In Washington, Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood received $2.5 million for programs in manufacturing technology. Centralia Community College led a group of schools to get nearly $10 million for job training in clean energy fields.