GCC increases health career job training in Hampshire County

January 25, 2019

Thanks to a recent Skills Capital Grant award from the Commonwealth, Greenfield Community College will soon be increasing its capacity and upgrading its Medical Assistant Certificate (MAC) Program by offering additional training at its existing satellite location on the campus of Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School in Northampton, MA.

The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded more than $52 million over the past three years through Skills Capital grants across the Commonwealth. This round of Skills Capital Grants focus on helping residents with barriers to employment, including those who are unemployed or underemployed, lack English proficiency, or to residents who do not have degrees or certificates and need new skills to obtain good-paying jobs.  The grants cover a broad array of fields from construction and engineering to healthcare and hospitality.

Greenfield Community College received $83,764 to purchase portable examination tables, patient simulation anatomical trainers, and medical instrument sterilization equipment. The expansion of GCC’s MAC program will provide greater access to technical education and training in Franklin and Hampshire counties to attract recent high school graduates, incumbent workers looking to gain new skills, and displaced workers training for new careers in health care.

“Community colleges play a key role in meeting workforce needs of area business and industry. There is a big demand for medical assistants in Franklin and Hampshire counties.  The funds received through this MA Skills Capital Grant award will give us the ability to educate and graduate more students ready to begin working as medical assistants.  It’s a win for both students and the medical community” says Catherine Seaver, Vice President Academic and Student Affairs.

GCC’s one-year certificate program provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of medical assisting and includes hands-on learning with a practicum in a local health care setting. The MAC Program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs.

MAC Program Coordinator Claire Tyminski M.Ed., RN CCMA PBT explains for GCC students and area employers, “This accreditation is the gold standard for Medical Assistants.  GCC students are now allowed to take the Certified Medical Assistant national exam from the American Association of Medical Assistants to gain certification credentials which most employers require.”

Since its inception five years ago, MAC has been one of GCC’s fastest growing and most successful programs.  According to Brian Kapitulik, Dean of Business & Information Technology, Professional Studies, and Social Sciences, “Our average annual pass rate on the national exam is nearly 95% and both our graduate and employer satisfaction surveys consistently hit 100%.”  MAC graduates typically have no problem finding employment, explains Kapitulik, “Last year, 93% of our graduates found medical assisting jobs, while the others continued their studies in related fields, especially nursing.”

For more information about the Medical Assistant Certificate Program, visit http://www.gcc.mass.edu/academics/programs/medical-assistant/.

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