News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded the announcement made by U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis that Everett Community College (ECC) will receive a $4.84 million competitive grant to provide health care training to Washington state workers through the Healthcare Education-to-Careers Opportunities (HECO) project. The funds were awarded under the Community-Based Job Training Grant Program, which improves the ability of community colleges, like the ECC, and their partners to train and prepare workers for employment in high growth and other emerging industries. The grant awarded to the ECC will provide services to unemployed and dislocated workers among others.

“Training workers for jobs in the health care industry is critical for the health of our economy and our families. Before we can meet our goal to provide all Americans access to quality, affordable health care, we must ensure that there are enough health care professionals – from phlebotomists to registered nurses -- to provide that care,” said Senator Murray. “This grant brings us one step closer to that goal and our economy further down the road to recovery.”

“Health care is one of the fastest growing areas of our workforce,” said Senator Cantwell. “Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the health care field will account for four out of 10 occupations they anticipate will produce the most job growth in the next decade. Grants like this for the HECO Project will provide the necessary training for a host of health care professions, including nursing assistants, lab technicians, and registered nurses. As we continue rebuilding our economy, it is critical we provide ample job training to groups who need it most.”     

“The $125 million awarded today will create opportunities for working Americans to train for high-demand occupations with the help of our nationwide community college system,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  “Our goal is to help workers across the country prepare for and secure good jobs, and with support from these colleges and other critical stakeholders, we’ll ensure we reach a broad base of individuals in need.”

As the chair of the Senate Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, as well as a senior member of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Murray was the lead writer of the health care workforce section in the new health care reform law and has been working closely with the administration on its implementation. This latest investment, along with the additional workforce training funding Senator Murray worked to secure in the new law, will help prepare the health system to meet the demand for health care workers.