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EAC Nursing students to benefit from new Graham County WIA grant

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EAC Nursing students to benefit from new Graham County WIA grant

By Jeanné Schaser

THATCHER, AZ—A Capacity Building Grant awarded to Graham County’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Program will benefit Eastern Arizona College’s Nursing program by providing assistance for 30 new students in the Nursing Program at EAC. These new students will pursue a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing that will enable them to become registered nurses.

The $283,750 grant will assist with tuition, books, supplies, travel costs to attend required clinical training, needs-related payments, and licensing fees. The grant is provided through WIA funding from the Arizona Department of Commerce and is a one-time award that will be in effect through June 30, 2011.

“Nursing is a highly desirable, well-paid career with noted shortages of qualified applicants to fill available vacancies on a national as well as statewide basis,” says Neil Karnes, director of the WIA. “Historically, our nursing students have exited the program with employment in their field paying $20 per hour or higher, which has been very beneficial in terms of meeting our performance measures.”

“This grant would not have been possible without the hard work of the board of directors for Graham County’s Workforce Investment Board, headed by Chairperson Lois Ann Moody, who tirelessly advocated for the grant,” continues Karnes.

The grant will target individuals who meet federal low income guidelines and who have been recruited through area high schools as well as through other local recruitment efforts and through the region’s Re-employment and Pre-layoff Assistance Center (REPAC) Consortium. As a result of completing the two-year program, each graduate will have gained the necessary licensure and experience to immediately enter the nursing workforce.

“Graham County is the lead agency for this grant and will coordinate with Greenlee County and/or REPAC to accept participants from their programs and co-enroll them with Graham County,” Karnes said.

Those interested in applying for this assistance should visit the Graham County Workforce Development Office located inside the Health Department Building located at 826 West Main Street in Safford, or contact Susan Francolee, coordinator for the WIA, at (928) 428-7386. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.