Just a month after the nursing program at LaGuardia Community College was awarded the top ranking in New York state, Councilwoman Julie Won arrived on the Long Island City campus Tuesday, Nov. 29, to present a check for $5 million to help launch a new initiative to expand training of healthcare professionals.
The investment will expand the college’s capacity to provide hands-on education and skills building for programs that require specialized equipment and facilities, such as nursing, licensed practical nursing, paramedic, EMT and other healthcare fields.
“This support enables us to launch ‘3,000 Heroes,’ which is LaGuardia’s commitment to train and graduate 3,000 frontline healthcare workers over the next five years,” LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams said. “LaGuardia has long been a leader in the training of healthcare professionals. As we emerge from the pandemic, we must expand our programs in response to the critical shortage of frontline workers. This generous support from Council member Won will make this possible. This investment means that more New Yorkers will be able to access training for jobs in dynamic healthcare fields that typically come with family-sustaining salaries and growth potential.”
Adams explained that the program will help address the critical shortage of frontline healthcare workers across the city and he thanked Won and Speaker Adrienne Adams for allocating the new funding.
“LaGuardia Community College is the home to 23,000 scholars in which 88% are students of color. LaGuardia offers a pathway for socioeconomic mobility for working-class students, many of who are first-generation college students. That is why I advocated securing $5 million in funding to convert Shenker Hall into a workforce development training facility to further invest in our next generation of leaders,” Won said. “Thank you to the speaker and my Council colleagues for prioritizing LaGuardia so our students get the hands-on training and resources they need to serve our community and beyond.”
LaGuardia students joining the ranks of New York’s frontline healthcare workforce will include graduates of associate degree and academic certificate programs as well as graduates of non-credit workforce training programs in the college’s ACE Division. Ten academic and workforce training programs will yield an average of 600 graduates per year over the next five years.
“To confront the shortage of frontline health care professionals in our city, it is critical that we invest in training and educational programs for our future essential workers,” Speaker Adrienne Adams said. “Through LaGuardia Community College’s ‘3,000 Heroes’ initiative, students will benefit from hands-on learning and support to enter a vital field that offers stability and robust opportunities,” Speaker Adams said. “The council is proud to have allocated $5 million in the city budget to upgrade facilities to support this important initiative.”
Individuals interested in training for rewarding careers in healthcare should visit laguardia.edu/home. After earning the top ranking among New York State Registered Nursing (RN) programs in October, president Adams explained how the program offers courses covering approximately 75 different specialties in nursing. Nurses are engaged in direct client care, administration, education and/or research. Nurses in advanced practice are prepared to assume greater autonomy in areas such as primary care, clinical specialties, anesthesia and midwifery. Following classroom learning, students are placed in a clinical internship with partner hospitals and medical facilities.
“The global pandemic showed us how important nurses and other frontline workers are to our community’s health — often going to extraordinary lengths to help others,” Adams said. “Since our nursing program started in 1985, LaGuardia has graduated nearly 3,000 nursing professionals. We celebrate this recognition and carry on our efforts to prepare more frontline heroes to serve and help the community.”
For more information on the nursing program, visit laguardia.edu/nursing.