Middlesex College Receives Grant From Rutgers Community Health Foundation to Help Develop a Healthcare Workforce in New Brunswick

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Middlesex College Receives Grant From Rutgers Community Health Foundation

From left, Marelyn Lujan, a current Middlesex College student and former EMPOWER student, her mother Margarita Juarez and her sister Janny Lujan, current EMPOWER student, and a rising senior in high school.

Middlesex College Receives Grant From Rutgers Community Health Foundation to Help Develop a Healthcare Workforce in New Brunswick

Middlesex College received an $85,000 grant from the Rutgers Community Health Foundation (RCHF) to help adult learners in New Brunswick explore and prepare to enter the healthcare field.

This latest award follows nearly $200,000 in grants from RCHF since 2016 to help New Brunswick residents through the College’s EMPOWER (Encouraging, Mentoring Peers on Work and Education Readiness) Program, a summer academic support program for New Brunswick teens seeking to explore college.

In 2020, due to COVID-19, the RCHF supplied a basic needs emergency grant to support New Brunswick students enrolled at Middlesex College. This grant was used to help students with rental aid, utility payments and food vouchers, including EMPOWER high school students enrolled in a college class.

Building on past successes and in response to community needs, RCHF partnered with the Middlesex College New Brunswick Center to create Pathways into Health Careers Bootcamps. These three-to-four-week programs were designed to attract, train and support adult learners, including those who need help navigating new organizational systems, especially those in the fast-growing healthcare field.

Adults with a foreign high school diploma or HSE (High School Equivalency) or who are close to attaining those credentials are encouraged to apply. Immigrant applicants seeking to improve their English so that they can take part in future bootcamps are also encouraged to apply and may qualify for free English as Second Language (ESL) and computer confidence courses. Additional funding may be available to help cover costs related to childcare, transportation and technology, which are common barriers to participation.

Yvette Molina, program advocate, and Evelyn Rosa, director of the Middlesex College New Brunswick Center, will lead information sessions starting Monday, September 27 about the first bootcamp, which will be in-person and virtual. For more information or to arrange an information session at your site, please contact YMolina@middlesexcc.edu, infonb@middlesexcc.edu, or call 732.745.8866.

Students who successfully complete the bootcamp will transition to Middlesex College for training to become a community or public health worker, phlebotomist, medical assistant, EKG technician, or to work in other health-related careers. The program advocate will continue to support bootcamp participants when they enroll in those programs.

New Brunswick resident Margarita Juarez, a mother of three, has a personal connection to Middlesex College. Two of her children currently attend the College and another participated in its Summer EMPOWER Program. Now, thanks to the RCHF grant, she too can benefit from workforce training and career preparation.
“This is huge for me and my family because I’ve always wanted to work in health and emergency aid and help out my community,” she said.