Atlanta colleges land $1.65 million to create health IT jobs
The Georgia Institute of Technology and Gwinnett Technical College, part of the Atlanta Health Information Technology (HIT) cluster, have been awarded a $1.65 million grant to boost job creation in that sector.
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The initiative is part of the federal government’s Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a tri-agency competition initiated to support the advancement of 20 high-growth, regional industry clusters.
The Atlanta HIT cluster’s proposal was one of 20 selected from 125 applicants.
[See also: Georgia puts spotlight on health IT jobs ]
The collaborative program, designed to quickly create jobs to fill demand in Georgia’s expanding HIT cluster, provides a commercialization pathway for the supply-side and training for the workforce on the provider side. The initiative also engages traditionally underserved businesses throughout the state’s economically distressed areas via technical assistance resources.
“Our ultimate goal is simple – to achieve higher-quality, lower-cost and more patient-centric healthcare throughout Georgia,” said Steve Rushing, director of HIT initiatives at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2). Rushing will serve as the general adviser for the integrated project plan.
“Through extensive collaboration and partnerships, this initiative leverages existing resources to boost job creation through technology deployment, and thus economic development,” he added.
The HIT proposal is funded by the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Atlanta Development Authority (ADA) will assist with financing coordination on the SBA Scope of Work.
“ADA will focus on identifying and coordinating financing sources such as small business loans and equity from angel and venture capital firms to enhance this initiative,” says Brian McGowan, president and ADA CEO. “This grant will greatly expand our region’s capacity to create jobs and establish a global competitive edge in a highly sought after innovation cluster.”
In-kind donations and support for hiring program graduates have also come from the HIT industry and information technology providers. In addition, the Georgia Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center will play a key role in identifying eligible and formerly underserved small businesses to participate in the program, officials said.