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PJC part of health care group

Published or Revised February 22, 2005

Paris Junior College has joined with five educational partners - Collin County Community College District, Grayson County College, North Central Texas College, Northeast Texas Community College and Texarkana College - to ensure that an ample, well-trained workforce exists to meet the health care needs of the region’s citizens and the staffing needs of the medical industry.

These institutions have received a Carl D. Perkins Grant to form the Northeast Texas Workforce Consortium for Health Professionals. The consortium brings together stakeholders from education and the health care industry across 18 counties of northeast Texas to create a regional plan to bridge the gap between health care demands and the supplies of both allied health faculty and health care professionals.

A July 2003 U.S. Department of Labor report on health care stated that community colleges are facing shortages in certified faculty to teach health care related occupational skills while a shortage of health care workers exists in the health care industry. 

To address this dilemma, this consortium of colleges will begin looking at the issue to help solve the problem in the northeast Texas region.

Dr. Camille Pridgen, program director in the Community and Technical Colleges Division of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, affirms the significance of this planning effort.

“There are critical personnel shortages in most of the health professions, especially in the nursing and allied health professions,” she said. “Lack of faculty presents one of the biggest hurdles to expanding the educational programs in these fields. I am very excited that the Northeast Texas Workforce Consortium of Health Professionals is trying to address this problem.”

Dr. Pridgen, who is the Coordinating Board’s mentor for the grant, stated that the successful completion of this project could provide a template for the rest of the state to address personnel shortages.

“This is vital work toward meeting the goals of ‘Closing the Gap by 2015,’ the state’s higher education plan,” she said.

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