Nonprofit provides financial boost to low-income health care students
Why it matters: The program is designed to help fill jobs in health care, an area of increasing need in NWA.
- The program gives financial assistance to people pursuing careers in fields such as nursing so they don't have to split time between a job and school and can finish faster, Jeff Webster, president and CEO of Excellerate Foundation, tells Axios.
Driving the news: The city of Springdale may give more than $2.8 million worth of American Rescue Plan Act money to Upskill NWA. The city council will vote on the matter Tuesday.
The big picture: Excellerate has plans in motion to help the Northwest Technical Institute construct a new building for students in medical programs and NorthWest Arkansas Community College expand its Washington County campus.
- Of $15 million needed, Excellerate has committed $5 million. Washington County approved $2.9 million for the foundation, $1 million of which will go to infrastructure, and the rest of which will go to Upskill NWA.
- If Springdale approves the money Tuesday, $2 million will go toward infrastructure, and the rest will go to programming.
State of play: Upskill NWA already has its first round of 100 participants, who must earn less than 80% of the area median income to be considered. The program may accept nonmedical students in the future, but right now the focus is the medical field.
How it works: Washington Regional, Mercy, Northwest Health, Arkansas Children's and Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas have all agreed to pay for a third of the financial assistance for students who agree to work at their respective hospitals or clinics for at least two years, Webster says.
What they're saying: Washington Regional will hire more nurse educators in order to train the additional nursing students that are expected as a result of Upskill NWA, spokesperson Natalie Hardin tells Axios.
- Upskill NWA will help the hospital fill positions including a registered nurse, nurse assistant, medical assistant, radiology tech, lab tech, pharmacy tech, surgical tech and respiratory tech, she says.
More NW Arkansas stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios NW Arkansas.