2010 | Archives
$4.5 million in grants will bring jobs to those who need them
"We pride ourselves on being the gateway to
opportunity for those who live in our four-county
- Randy Schmailzl, MCC President
Over the next two years, partnerships among MCC and federal
agencies will help reduce lead content in Omaha soil, provide jobs
for at-risk youth and improve health information technology.
The projects are part of a trio of federal stimulus funds that
will provide valuable job training to hundreds of Nebraskans.
Among the Grants:
- A $3.3 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) to train 75 adults as soil remediation professionals and
reduce lead contamination in eastern Omaha.
- A $525,000 grant from the Department of Labor to provide job
training and summer jobs to 125 at-risk youth.
- A $730,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services to train 150 new health information technology
professionals, part of a $2 billion national effort to achieve
widespread adoption of electronic health records.
These collaborative partnerships will help provide jobs to those
who need them while accomplishing multiple goals for the community
and state, said Randy Schmailzl, MCC President.
"Metropolitan Community College has always placed the highest
value on collaborative partnerships that seek to accomplish multiple
goals for our community," Schmailzl said. "We pride
ourselves on being the gateway to opportunity for those who live in
our four-county region."
Improving Health in Eastern Omaha
Since 2003, nearly 9,000 acres in eastern Omaha and North Omaha
have been designated an EPA priority Superfund site, a classification
reserved for the most environmentally hazardous areas. The lead
contamination—found in residential properties, child care
facilities and schools in Omaha—is the result of nearly 100
years of lead and heavy metals emissions from the former ASARCO lead
refining facility and other factories. The effects of lead exposure
can be profound, affecting children's brains and nervous systems and
causing lower IQs, learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
MCC's job training partnership with the EPA, the first of its kind
in the nation, will help alleviate levels of lead contamination in
Omaha or other Superfund sites. Students will be trained to encourage
the protection of human health through health education,
participation in cleanup and interior dust control. Students in the
program earn a specialist diploma and a path to an associate degree,
as well as the possibility of a job offer with a Superfund
contractor. Priority placement in the program is given to applicants
who are residents of the Superfund site.
Providing Jobs to at-Risk Youth
MCC is teaming up with Nebraska Workforce Development, the City
of Omaha and the Urban League to steer youth away from violence by
offering employment and education alternatives. In addition to
providing some of the summer positions, MCC will help youth ages
18-24 complete their GED, gain proficiency in basic reading and math
skills, explore careers and training for job readiness and discuss
options for continuing education. Ultimately, the program will
provide youth the skills they need to move beyond a summer job,
For information on the application process, call 453-9730 or visit
Training a Cutting-Edge Health Technology Workforce
With a new program designed to train current healthcare or IT
professionals in health information technology, MCC joins a national
effort to provide an electronic health record for each person in the
United States by 2014.
MCC will develop course curriculum for the six-month Specialist
Diploma in Health Information Technology through collaboration with
the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) and healthcare
administration company HDM Corp. The application process is under