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Congressman Lloyd Doggett

Representing the 35th District of Texas

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On-Ramp to Healthcare Career Opportunities For All: Celebrating Committee Passage of Doggett Bill to Support Health Careers at Community & Technical Colleges, Like the Alamo Colleges District

October 22, 2019

***Press Release***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 22, 2019

Contact: Kate Stotesbery

202-225-4865

 

On-Ramp to Healthcare Career Opportunities For All: Celebrating Committee Passage of Doggett Bill to Support Health Careers at Community & Technical Colleges, Like the Alamo Colleges District

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, spoke during the health legislation markup today in support of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOGs) to urge passage of his legislation, the Promoting Health Careers in Community and Technical Colleges Act (H.R. 3823). His bill would ensure that technical and community colleges, like the Alamo Colleges District, can continue to host these successful programs. Shortly after his remarks this morning, the Ways and Means Committee passed Rep. Doggett’s legislation out of committee in a legislative package reauthorizing HPOGs, the Pathways to Health Careers Act (H.R. 3398).

Rep. Doggett said, “Everyone should have an on-ramp to the highway of success. For many nontraditional students in San Antonio, that on-ramp is a tuition-free workforce training program known as the Health Profession Opportunity Grant, or HPOG. This outstanding opportunity is run by the Alamo Colleges District in collaboration with a number of community partners, such as Goodwill and Project Quest, who host information sessions at the Westside and Eastside Education and Training Centers.”

Representative Doggett’s bill would ensure that community colleges, like the Alamo Colleges District and other higher educational institutions including technical colleges, are eligible health professional opportunity grantees. The bill also requires that HPOG students earn industry-recognized credentials to ensure that the training they received results in a job.

The Pathways to Health Careers Act (H.R. 3398), which passed out of the Ways and Means Committee today, would reauthorize and expand Health Professional Opportunity Grants in all 50 states, as well as tribal communities and US territories. Rep. Doggett cited that it would mean that the successes seen in San Antonio, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Mike Flores and the Alamo Colleges District trustees, can continue in our community and be replicated in others throughout the country.

His remarks are available in full to watch here. Excerpts of his remarks, as prepared:

“Everyone should have an on-ramp to the highway of success. For many nontraditional students in San Antonio, that on-ramp is a tuition-free workforce training program known as the Health Profession Opportunity Grant, or HPOG. This outstanding opportunity is run by the Alamo Colleges District in collaboration with a number of community partners, such as Goodwill and Project Quest, who host information sessions at the Westside and Eastside Education and Training Centers.

For many students, this opportunity is life-changing second chance at a new career in a meaningful, well-paying healthcare industry job. In the first two years, 250 students successfully finished the HPOG training and 85% of graduates found employment. By the time the program is completed next year, the Alamo Colleges District will have trained 850 students serving our community in jobs like certified nursing assistants and pharmacy technicians. This is a win for patients and for the newly-minted healthcare providers who serve them.

The built-in program flexibility, which includes on-site childcare, attracts a wide variety of students who may have barriers to access traditional post-secondary opportunities. While some participating students are just out of high school, the Alamo Colleges District hosts multi-generational students, including grandparents, who are signing up for training to help support their extended families.

To ensure that other transformational programs like the one hosted at the Alamo Colleges District can continue, I introduced the Promoting Health Careers in Community and Technical Colleges Act, (H.R. 3823), which has been incorporated in the bill we are considering before the committee today – the Pathways to Health Careers Act (H.R. 3398) offered by my colleague Danny Davis.

My bill, the Promoting Health Careers in Community and Technical Colleges Act, (H.R. 3823), clarifies that community colleges, like the Alamo Colleges District, and other higher-ed institutions, including technical colleges, are eligible Health Professional Opportunity grantees. The bill also requires that HPOG students earn industry-recognized credentials to ensure that the training they received results in a job.

I urge my colleagues to support the Pathways to Health Careers Act (H.R. 3398) to reauthorize and expand Health Professional Opportunity Grants in all 50 states, as well as tribal communities and US territories, so the successes seen in San Antonio, thanks to the leadership of Dr. Mike Flores and the trustees of the Alamo Colleges District, can continue in my community and be replicated in others throughout the country.”

 

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