The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the need for essential healthcare workers, e.g. such as nurses, to fight in the front lines in our region’s medical facilities as the rate of deadly infection surpasses 7 million in the U.S. Supporting postsecondary education programs in this sector is critical to strengthening our workforces’ response to the pandemic and will help mitigate future staffing shortages. Equally important, supporting postsecondary education programs for an adult population that need additional resources to access meaningful employment is critical to their economic success.
This project works to improve the educational and economic outcomes for a population living in poverty along this Texas border. As a workforce and economic development partner, Project ARRIBA’s model employs an intense case management approach and wrap-around support services or need-based aid needed to mitigate socioeconomic barriers for students in training. Critical support services include, but are not limited to, assistance with tuition, textbooks, school materials, childcare, emergency rent/utilities, public transportation, licensing exams, tutoring support, and other assistance as needed. This support promotes job training success and increases academic retention and graduation rates. In addition to adding value to the participant/student in training, this approach also adds a value to the training provider needing help retaining at-risk students and to the local employer that desperately needs these essential healthcare workers in a timely manner.
An investment in any amount, along with WalMart’s match, will be leveraged with other public and private funds to serve 380 adults training at El Paso Community College (EPCC), the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC EP). Project ARRIBA will provide the educational, financial, and social supports system needed to prepare for, access, persist in, and complete a post-secondary education in a demand occupation that pays a family sustaining, living wage.