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UNH awarded $3m to help train health care workers

DURHAM - The University of New Hampshire on Friday was awarded a nearly $3 million grant to develop a program that will train 1,000 health care workers.
The money, which is part of the federal stimulus package, was secured by U.S Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-Madbury.
UNH applied for the funding in January; Shaheen wrote a letter to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in support of it.
"With an aging population, New Hampshire anticipates an increased demand for health and support services as well as heavier reliance on home- and community-based services," Shaheen said in a statement. "This investment will create good jobs for New Hampshire while addressing a workforce shortage that threatens the quality of life in our state."
In a statement, Gov. John Lynch said: "This grant will help with our continuing efforts to put New Hampshire people back to work by providing training for careers in the health care industry, an important and growing industry in New Hampshire."
UNH will use the $2,944,732 grant to develop a job training program entitled "DirectConnect." It will give scholarships those entering the health care field and seeking jobs at home- and community-based providers.
In a statement, Jan Nisbet, senior vice provost for research at UNH, said: "This grant will allow the University of New Hampshire to help provide the state with a skilled, stable professional workforce prepared to meet the current and future needs for home and community based direct care workers ... Direct care workers are the backbone of the long term care system and provide essential home and community based services to persons of all ages who have disabilities or chronic health conditions."
The grant is part of the "Health Care Sector and Other High Growth and Emerging Industries" job training grant awards made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.