Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) has been awarded $425,000 from Congressman Kurt Schrader to help launch a nursing program for Tillamook County.
TBCC was personally informed by Rep. Schrader earlier this month that they had received the funding.
“We have been waiting for almost a year to hear about this funding proposal, and I was very excited to get the call from Congressman Schrader that it had been approved,” said TBCC President Ross Tomlin. “Now we will be able to move forward to get a much needed nursing program developed here at TBCC.”
The funding came as part of the bipartisan government funding package that President Joe Biden signed into law, which includes over $13 million for essential community projects across Oregon’s Fifth District.
In April of 2021, TBCC applied to Rep. Schrader’s office to be considered for funding to launch a nursing program. The request was to provide funds for equipment, classroom supplies, program incidentals and one year salary for a Nursing Director and instructor.
The application process was competitive, and Rep. Schrader could only select 10 projects from his district to recommend for federal funding.
Along with their request, TBCC submitted 11 letters of support from Adventist Health Tillamook, The Rinehart Clinic, Tillamook Community Health, the Tillamook County Commissioners, local healthcare providers, Northwest Oregon Works, State Representative Suzanne Weber, and the Tillamook Fire District.
“This really was a wonderful community-wide effort,” Tomlin added. “Our partners in healthcare are ready to support the development of this program and are committed to hiring nurses trained locally through TBCC.”
In 2019, TBCC commissioned a community engagement survey to understand programs the college should be considering in order to meet the community’s future workforce needs. Healthcare occupations were at the top of the list of emerging jobs in Tillamook County. Additionally, the Oregon Employment Department projects healthcare as the fastest growing occupations over the next ten years. Registered nurses are expected to grow at an overwhelming 17.4 percent with over 110 annual openings in Northwest Oregon.
Having a dedicated nursing program for Tillamook County will help ensure that our healthcare providers stay staffed and help support the economic development and workforce stability of Tillamook County.