Lawrence — MassHire Merrimack Valley Workforce Board (MMVWB) will partner with the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) and Lawrence General Hospital (LGH) to offer occupational skills training to current entry-level employees. The Medical Assistant Training (MAT) Program will enable employers to upskill their employees and fill MA vacancies critical to maintaining high quality services, while employees will gain access to better paying career pathway jobs.  This project will be funded by a Senator Kenneth J. Donnelly Workforce Success Grant (Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund FY’19 Appropriation) through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development; it is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation.

“Both GLFHC and LGH deliver critical services to Merrimack Valley residents” said State Senator Barry Finegold. “I am proud to advocate for state programs that help these instutions and their staff.”

The MAT Program will train 30 existing workers that employers will recruit and recommend for participation. Greater Lawrence Technical High School will offer the training starting late this fall through next spring, as well as in fall 2020. It will consist of a 300 hour occupational skills training followed by 140 hours of clinical training at each of the partnering facilities, and end with the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam.

“Medical Assistants play such an important role in our patients’ lives and they are often seen as the first point of contact for many of them” said Ann Marie Borgesi, Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative and Human Resources Officer at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. “The opportunity to participate in a program like this will not only allow us to invest in our current staff, but also enhance the delivery of the best healthcare in the region to the 60,000 plus patients we serve in the Greater Lawrence region.

Robin Hynds, Chief Clinical Integration Officer at Lawrence General stated: “We pride ourselves in our ability to support staff as they look to advance within LGH. These funds will go a long way in helping LGH strengthen staff capacity and ultimately the work that we do on behalf of our patients.”

“Health Care is the region’s largest industry, and it continues to grow” said MMVWB Executive Director Abel Vargas. “The MMVWB has a unique role in developing programs that support our regional partners to ensure access to a trained workforce.”

About Masshire Merrimack Valley Workforce Board

The MassHire Merrimack Valley Workforce Board is composed of knowledgeable and influential business and community leaders who are appointed by the Mayor of Lawrence on behalf of the region’s fifteen communities. As a regional entity, MMVWB works closely with local municipalities to bolster economic development and employment and to provide area businesses with a well trained workforce.

The board serves as the oversight and policy-making body for federally funded employment and training services in the region. The board also has the broader role of addressing critical labor market issues and developing strategic partnerships with local leaders in economic development, the K-12 and higher education system, government agencies, chambers of commerce, and community-based and labor organizations.