DRYDEN, N.Y.—Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) has received $150,000 in funding to help develop micro-credential curriculum in allied healthcare fields, hoping to provide a wide array of employment training and opportunities in the healthcare industry.

Officials from the school and Southern Tier 8, the organization that runs the grant initiative that is supplying the funding, announced the award and pilot program at a press conference Wednesday.

“These sorts of programs allow non-traditional students access to join the workforce in an expedited manner, and are lucrative, in not only this community in Dryden, but accessible to others,” said Jen Gregory, Executive Director of Southern Tier 8.

TC3 President Dr. Amy Kremenek spoke about Southern Tier 8’s focus on collaboration and how that vision is manifesting through the new partnership between the school and the development agency.

“‘Collaboration is everything’ could probably be the motto of Tompkins Cortland Community College as well,” Kremenek said. “We’re a very active partner in both counties and throughout the region. We know that without partnerships we cannot tackle the enormous challenges that we all face as a community, as a region, as a nation.”

Rural healthcare is a frequent topic in central New York, and it was one of the factors that Kremenek emphasized in her comments. Qualified workers with specific, niche healthcare skills are at a premium, and the goal of the micro-credential programs will be to prepare people for the workforce without requiring a longterm time commitment. She said the goal is to place

Kremenek, who’s been in office since the start of summer, credited the school’s Director of Workforce Development, Carrie Whitmore, with leading the charge on the grant and pilot program creation.

Paul Reifenheiser, provost and VP of Academic Affairs, added that the program would hopefully be able to pinpoint needs throughout regional healthcare and adequately educate students on the necessities of those jobs.

“We know there’s a great need for lab techs, we know there’s a great need for physical and occupational therapy, we know there’s a great need for sterile processing,” Reifenheiser said. “That’s just the start. Being able to develop curriculum in this field is going to be particularly impactful for the community.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.org.