U.S. Department of Commerce Awards $2 Million to Support Healthcare Training at UACCM

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) will receive a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to build a new Allied Health and Science Center.

Mock hospital with student in the foreground on the computer while a group of students in the background work on a SIM man.

This project will consolidate the school’s health professional training programs into one building and provide increased capacity to expand its programs. This EDA investment will be matched with $1.1 million in local funds.

The EDA funds will be utilized for site development and infrastructure improvements to prepare the college’s proposed east side location along University Blvd. The facility will expand the current practical nursing, registered nursing, nursing assisting, dietary management, and STEM field transfer credentials and will also allow the college to explore added programming in other vital, in-demand health fields.

“Receiving this grant will enable UACCM to greatly expand its educational and training opportunities in the sciences and medical professions in the River Valley. This new facility will allow UACCM to update its simulation equipment and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities to better equip its graduates to enter the workforce or transfer to other institutions,” said UACCM Chancellor Lisa Willenberg. “UACCM is a regional leader in the education and training of nurses and allied healthcare employees and helps meet the current labor shortage in these fields.”

“Per the recently completely UACCM 5-year strategic plan and the in-progress campus master planning, the opportunity for the addition of this building to East campus will allow us to really start to define campus into three distinct districts, those being Workforce Training, General Education, and Allied Health & Sciences,” added Willenberg.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is dedicated to increasing economic opportunities for communities across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in UACCM will facilitate the expansion of its healthcare training programs, creating additional workforce training pipelines of highly-skilled workers to fill jobs across the region.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support UACCM as they seek to diversify the region’s economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will increase capacity for UACCM to train future healthcare workers, preparing students for highly-paid healthcare positions.”

“This $2 million grant will allow the UACCM to expand opportunities so that more students than ever can pursue a career in the healthcare profession,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “The healthcare industry and all Arkansans will benefit from the grant, which strengthens the school’s mission to train more healthcare professionals.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District (WCAPDD). EDA funds WCAPDD to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

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