Contact: Ann Hatch 214-378-1819; email@example.com For immediate release — July 12, 2018News brief (DALLAS) — The Dallas County Community College District’s entry titled “Project OnRamp: A Fast Track to Medical Careers and a Living Wage” has received a 2018 Silver Award in the CASE Circle of Excellence national competition for institutional advancement efforts in higher education. The entry was submitted by the DCCCD Foundation in the “Public or Private Grants” category. CASE — the Council for Advancement and Support of Education — has both national and international members at two- and four-year colleges and universities, as well as independent schools. Project OnRamp was first major investment in Dallas by JPMorgan Chase under the company’s New Skills at Work Initiative. The $500,000 grant program enabled participants to transition from working-poor to living-wage status by increasing their skill levels, focusing on nurse aides. Certified nurse aides who live in Dallas County have been earning an hourly wage slightly above $9.95 an hour. They play a pivotal role in the health care sector, but they also often live below the poverty level. Through Project OnRamp, 162 certified nurse aides received funds for tuition, books and other support services so that they could complete patient care technician training through DCCCD in only six months. CASE judges said that the program “had clear objectives and demonstrated measurable, positive impact on the students.” The panel added, “The work could serve as a model for other institutions in educating adult health care workers to improve workforce development and higher wages.” When they entered Project OnRamp, participants were earning an average hourly wage of $10.81; more than 10 percent of the 162 students who completed Project OnRamp also chose to earn additional certifications. The average hourly wage for completers was $14.50, a 25-percent increase in earnings, based on wages they were paid at the beginning of the grant program. For more information about health care careers offered by DCCCD, visit the district’s Health Careers Resource Center at dcccd.edu/HCRC.
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