CHEYENNE– The first window of opportunity for the Department of Workforce Services’ (DWS) new WyHealthTrain Grant has closed. The grant, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, opened on Nov. 1, 2023 and was met with exceptional public response, leading DWS’s Business Training and Support Unit (BTSU) to extend the initial deadline to Jan. 5, 2024.
“We were able to develop a truly wonderful working collaboration between DWS, Wyoming community colleges, the Community College Commission, and the University of Wyoming. Their willingness and excitement to work with us was just fantastic,” said Holly McKamey Simoni, DWS Workforce Programs Administrator.
“When the program deadline was extended, applicants took that extra time and really went above and beyond with their applications,” Shaye Moon, BTSU Program Manager said. “We offered question-and-answer sessions several times during the application process and had very good attendance. The quality of applications we received was outstanding.” Moon considers this first window a success. “We were able to approve 71 applications for students attending all eight Wyoming Community Colleges plus the University of Wyoming.”
The intent behind the WyHealthTrain grant was two-fold: first, it aligns with Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s goal of increasing a trained workforce in the state’s healthcare and behavioral health industries. Second, the focus on healthcare and behavioral health came out of the National Governors Association Healthcare Workforce group.
The healthcare programs approved are as follows:
- Medical Assistant
- Physical Therapy Assistant
- Dental Hygiene
- Social Work
- Health Services Administration
- Pharmacy Technician
- Respiratory Therapy
- Health Care Science
- EMT-1500 Basic
- Medical Laboratory Technician
Savannah Bascus, WyHealthTrain Grant Lead, said her favorite part of this process has been telling applicants when they’ve been selected to receive a grant. “I’ve gotten some incredible reactions,” Bascus said, “but my favorite by far has been hearing how much this grant will change their lives for the better.”
The grant application window will open again in mid-April and close on May 31, 2024. For more information, visit dws.wyo.gov/wyhealthtrain.