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Shelton State Community College Receives Multi-Million Dollar Grant for Healthcare Academy

Shelton State Receives Grant

March 25, 2024 – Shelton State Community College (SSCC) has been awarded a grant of almost three million dollars to establish a Healthcare Academy and provide vocational and academic courses to high school students and community members on the campuses of Bibb Medical Center (BMC), Bibb County High School, Bibb County Career Academy, and West Blocton High School.  Healthcare Academy students will have opportunities to work at BMC during non-school hours, earning money while working in a healthcare setting. Students in vocational and noncredit areas will become hire-ready for local employers.


The proposed Healthcare Academy will provide supportive services and supplemental support for cohort members in high school and in the community. Targeted events and activities, such as tutoring and ACT prep, will allow participants to identify career options and related skill gaps and skill areas, assist incumbent workers in upgrading skills, and enable participants to identify meaningful pathways to the healthcare workforce through career coaching, job coaching, and placement services. Classroom and virtual training will be paired with workforce scenarios so that content learning is relevant to the healthcare settings where individuals seek employment. Childcare and transportation needs will also be provided.


The Alabama Community College System provided grant funding under the 2024 Alabama Centers for Rural Healthcare Opportunity appropriation designed to provide new and expanded opportunities for health science students across the state and create an enhanced workforce pipeline for Alabama’s healthcare industry.


“The $2.8 million dollars in funds Shelton State has been awarded will go a long way to bridge the healthcare gaps in our rural areas and provide much-needed training for our local high school students and community members who are setting their sights on the next phase of their lives,” said Dr. Jonathan Koh, SSCC President.


This program design affords a high level of replicability for community colleges throughout the United States. Enrolling more than 12.4 million students and serving almost half of all undergraduate students in the United States, community colleges are reliable industry partners ensuring students are adequately prepared for jobs requiring higher education or workforce training. The established partnership between BMC and SSCC for licensed practical nursing training has forged a path, making an expanded partnership likely to succeed.


“We are thrilled to have an opportunity like this where we can really build something that transforms career trajectories in our rural community,” said Joseph Marchant, Chief Executive Officer of Bibb Medical Center.  “A special thank you to Senator April Weaver for her role in helping craft the legislation that has provided these funds throughout rural communities in Alabama like ours,” he added.


Senator April Weaver, Alabama Senate District 14, has been a strong advocate for “grow-your-own” healthcare training in rural communities.  Senator Weaver earned an associate degree in nursing from Shelton State, a bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration from The University of Alabama in 1993, and a master’s degree in business administration from Independence University in 2006. Weaver’s career experience includes work as a Regional Director with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Director of Operations with Shelby Baptist Medical Center, and the Director of Public, Community, and Government Relations with Brookwood Medical Center.


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