New DCCC Health Sciences Building to Ensure a Strong Regional Healthcare Workforce

March 6, 2015 – US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the Trustees of Davidson County Community College. The grant will help build an on-campus Health Sciences Building that will accommodate the growth and expansion of the college’s health workforce training programs. The grantee estimates that over the next ten years the project will create 1,000 jobs, retain an additional 2,215 jobs, and generate $108 million in private investment.  

“The Obama Administration is committed to helping communities develop a workforce with the skills needed for 21stcentury jobs,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA grant announced today will support expanded skills training to meet the needs of North Carolina’s growing health care sector.” 

“Establishing a health sciences building will enable DCCC to expand existing health care programs and meet the projected need to fill thousands of new health care jobs in the region over the next 10 years,” said Mary E. Rittling, DCCC president. “Our health care partners in local and regional hospitals, emergency service operations, health departments and hospices have echoed the need for construction of this facility.” 

EDA’s investment will help construct a new 40,086 square foot Health Sciences Center on the Davidson Community College campus.  The building program will include classroom, laboratory, and simulation laboratory space for several health sciences programs, including emergency medical science programs, nursing and certified nursing assistant programs, and pharmacy technician programs. The building will also provide general classroom space and staff and building support space. According to the grantee, this investment will address the region's immediate and future critical needs for health care professionals in nursing and emergency medical science. It will also support economic diversification away from the shrinking textile and apparel industries in the region. 

Workforce development and skills training is a major focus for the Commerce Department for the first time, and EDA plays a big role in supporting that effort. In January, EDA awarded a $2 million grant to the Pitt County Board of Commissioners in Winterville, North Carolina, to build a new science and technology training center on the Winterville Campus of the Pitt Community College. The project is expected to create 642 jobs and generate more than $190 million in private investments, according to grantee estimates. In November 2014, EDA issued a Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) for the Accelerating Industry-led Regional Partnerships for Talent Development program. The FFO is designed to find EDA a national partner that will work with the Department of Commerce to launch a regional learning exchange that will identify, promote, and expand on successful best practices for industry-driven regional partnerships for talent development. EDA continues to support projects, like the ones in Pitt County and central North Carolina, that help communities develop a workforce with the skills that local employers need to fill jobs that are available now and in the future. 

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.