We are thrilled to announce that we have received a $420,000 state Capital Skills grant to create a state-of-the-art Allied Health Center for dental, medical and health students. On Friday, Feb. 16, Whittier Tech officials gathered at Lynn Vocational and Technical Institute to receive their grant allocation from Gov. Charlie Baker.
The money will be used to refurbish four existing classrooms into an Allied Health Center — encompassing dental assisting, medical assisting and health assisting studies.
“We are extremely excited to be able to expand our offerings and to upgrade our learning space for all health occupations students,” Superintendent Lynch said. “Thank you to Gov. Baker for continuing to recognize the work Whittier is doing to prepare our students for college and careers upon graduation.”
The dental assisting vocational program will be new to Whittier Tech, and will launch in the fall following the completion of the new health center. Demolition is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, and will increase the school’s health occupations learning area from 3,500 square feet to 6,000 feet.
The new dental assisting program will feature dental chairs, analog and digital X-ray equipment, sterilization centers, autoclaves, wet model trimmers, polishing and grinding equipment and a denture processing center.
“With our new center, we will be meeting the growing demands of the health care professions,” said Vocational Coordinator Bev DeSalvo. “Adding the dental assisting program will give our students the opportunity to learn an additional health occupations career path and provide a more state-of-the-art facility for all health occupations students.”
Whittier’s medical assisting program launched two years ago and trains students for clerical support jobs in the health field. The health assisting pathway is one of the school’s original offerings, which prepares students for careers in direct patient care. Graduates of the program leave high school as a Certified Nursing Assistant and can go on to college to become a nurse.
Currently, 158 students are enrolled in the health occupations pathway (medical and health assisting). Nearly 100 percent of students every year obtain co-ops during their senior year, with many continuing in those jobs following graduation.
About the Skills Capital Grant Program:
The Skills Capital Grant Program supports vocational/technical training, upgrades and expansion of career technical education, and training of high-quality career pathway programs that are aligned with regional economic and workforce development priorities for in-demand industries.