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Added Value

DATE: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

HCC receives $240k grant for Vet Tech program

Vet tech teacher Jennifer York with student

Holyoke Community College has received a $240,743 state grant to expand and improve the outdoor, instructional kennel used for its Veterinary Technician program.

The allocation was part of the Skills Capital Grants awarded last month by Gov. Charlie Baker's Workforce Skills Cabinet.The competitive grants are awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate partnerships with local businesses, as well as align curriculum and credentials with industry demand to maximize hiring opportunities in each region of the state.

"Skills Capital Grants help preserve the Commonwealth's talent pipeline by funding expanded enrollment and equipment upgrades at educational institutions to provide more students with in-demand skills sought by employers," Baker said in annoucing the awards. 

HCC is planning to use the money to increase the size of its kennel to better facilitate instruction and add modern updates, including a new security system, more lighting, and an overhang to protect the dogs housed there.

The college will also be adding a one-year Veterinary Assistant certificate program for the fall 2020 semester to go along with its two-year associate degree Vet Tech program.HCC's Veterinary Technician program is the only one in Western Massachusetts accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The governor's Workforce Skills Cabinet which was created in 2015 to bring together the Secretariats of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, and Housing and Economic Development to align education, economic development and workforce policies in order to strategize around how to meet employers' demand for skilled workers in every region of the Commonwealth.

PHOTOS by CHRIS YURKO: Above, Vet tech student Alexis Parks of Agawam helps professor Jennifer York DVM, examine Snowball during a recent wellness check. (Thumbnail) York examines Bandit during a recent wellness check with assistance from student Briana Diaz of Westfield.