Press Releases

Sens. Webb & Warner announce $5M grant to train healthcare workers in SE Virginia

~ Targets health jobs currently being filled by foreign H-1B visa holders ~

Oct 04 2011

Senators Warner and Jim Webb today announced the award of a $5 million federal grant to a public-private partnership of colleges, universities and hospitals in Hampton Roads and on the Peninsula to provide education, training and job placement assistance in the healthcare field. The U.S. Department of Labor competitive grant program targets those healthcare jobs which are in demand and for which local employers increasingly have had to rely upon H-1B visas to hire foreign workers.

The Hampton Roads Healthcare Workforce Partnership (HR-HWP), based estimates the grant will result in the training of more than 330 unemployed and dislocated workers earning an average of about $43,000 per year. The Partnership is made-up of Tidewater Community College, Thomas Nelson Community College,  Paul D. Camp Community College, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, the Greater Peninsula Workforce Investment Board, the Hampton Roads Workforce Development Board (Opportunity Inc. of Hampton Roads), Bon Secours Health System, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, Riverside Health System and Sentara Health Systems.

“One of the largest barriers to economic growth in many communities is the shortage of a skilled workforce, and I am pleased that Hampton Roads will benefit from this investment,” said Senator Webb. “These health care workforce training grants will help Virginians acquire the skills they need to gain employment in existing jobs.”

“This grant will help ensure that our workers have the chance to succeed in jobs where there is a documented need for trained workers,” Senator Warner said. “In addition, major healthcare employers on the Peninsula and across Hampton Roads will gain access to Virginians who are trained and eager to join the future healthcare workforce.”

The grants are funded through fees paid by employers to bring foreign workers into the United States under the H-1B program. The grants are intended to raise the technical skill levels of American workers and, over time, help businesses reduce their need to use the H-1B program. The project will work with employers to identify workforce needs, partner with public and private colleges and universities to develop appropriate education and training programs, and provide job placement services.