Following the announcement of the fifth veterans home coming to the City of Enterprise, Enterprise State Community College met with local officials to discuss how both colleges can provide training and education to a workforce that will be growing in the coming years.
“We have been preparing for months to serve the needs of our local workforce in anticipation of the new veterans home, wherever it would be located in the Wiregrass,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “We know we have great programs already in place to fill the jobs created by this facility, but we’re also researching new programs because of the impact it will have in our service area.”
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) made the announcement of a fifth home after conducting a study regarding the need for an additional veterans home. The study found that by 2045, 1,440 veterans would require a skilled-care bed, and it identified the Wiregrass region as an underserved area for veterans.
In 2023, Enterprise will be home to a new, 175-bed facility with an estimated 300 employees, including nursing and other healthcare staff, maintenance and administration staff.
“Our programs at Enterprise State provide high-quality training and education to our students in order to meet the needs of the local workforce,” Dean of Instruction Danny Long said. “We offer programs in office administration, computer sciences and other areas that would help support the needs of the incoming facility.
“Additionally, while we already have a thriving MAT program at ESCC, we recognize that there will be a growing need for nurses in our area,” he said.
Director of Workforce Development Ian Campbell said projected data shows LPN jobs growing nationally, across the state and regionally in the next 10 years.
“According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, a projected national shortage of about 151,500 LPNs could develop by 2030,” Campbell said. “Data from Emsi, which is collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that we will see about a 7 percent increase across the state and about a 4 percent increase in our local region by 2029 in LPN positions.”
“Because of this information, we are discussing the possibility of creating an LPN program on our Enterprise campus,” Long said.
In addition to the Medical Assistant Technology program, which trains students in both administrative and clinical tasks, ESCC offers the Healthcare Information Technology program, which trains students to manage and organize health data for insurance or medical history purposes.
ESCC offers the Office Administration and Business Administration programs that provide training suitable for an office or accounting setting and programs in Computer Information Sciences and Computer Technology, which train students in network engineering or information technology.
ESCC also offers the Mechatronics program at the Alabama Aviation College, a unit of Enterprise State, which trains students in mechanical, electrical and programming skills, allowing students to work on smart technologies, unmanned systems and other electrical and mechanical systems.
Rodgers said ESCC “stands ready” to provide support for this new veterans home.
“We look forward to working with the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, the new veterans home and the surrounding communities to continue to develop the programs that align with what this facility needs,” Rodgers said.
Cutline: MAT students Bridget Glover, sitting, and Shameka Blackmon, right, review their clinical skills during class under the supervision of MAT Program Director Melissa Whitman. ESCC’s MAT program, along with many others, will provide the education and training needed to address workforce needs following the announcement of Enterprise being chosen as the location of a fifth veterans home in the state.
About Enterprise State Community College
Enterprise State Community College is a comprehensive community college which serves more than 1,800 students annually between its Enterprise campus and the Alabama Aviation Colleges in Andalusia and Ozark. Each campus and site currently fulfill the Alabama Community College System’s mission for education and training which leads to high-wage, high-demand jobs in integral careers worldwide. Students can obtain Associate degrees and certificates through multiple programs at the college.