ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded $46 million nationwide to 31 community-based organizations to expand public health clinical and operational capacity through workforce development. The Randolph County Housing Authority was the only organization awarded in West Virginia.

They received $1,544,884 from HRSA for their new educational program, Targeted Health Instruction of North Central WV (THINC).

THINC will provide educational opportunities to a six-county region in West Virginia: Randolph, Upshur, Tucker, Lewis, Webster and Barbour counties. The classes include Clinical Medical Assistant, Community Health Worker, Behavioral Health Technician, Billing and Coding, and Electronic Health Records.

The RCHA Learning Center has hospital beds for instructional use.

Officials say that the housing authority’s new education program will provide short-term training to citizens who will then fill gaps in healthcare within their community.

“So there’s a variety of health care providers that could use more entry-level workers that have some basic healthcare providers that could use more entry-level workers that have some basic healthcare knowledge, and that’s really what we’re focused on. Our goal is really to have it not be bothersome and expensive for someone to take these classes because we really need these healthcare workers out in the community, and so we don’t want finances to be prohibitive,” said Jennifer Griggs, Randolph County Housing Authority Supportive Services Program Manager.

RCHA has developed a network of community organizations to bring these classes to West Virginia, which include Davis Health System, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Davis & Elkins College, Youth Health Services Inc, Randolph County Development Authority, Elkins- Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, Workforce WV, and the Human Resources Development Fund. RCHA is looking to have more healthcare and community organizations be part of this network.

Those interested in attending classes for an entry health care job must be 18 and over. Applications for entry health care classes will be accepted starting in November. To ask about classes, call the Randolph County Housing Authority at (304) 636- 6495, or email rcha@rchawv.org. You can visit the RCHA Learning Center website for more information, and information on classes offered can be found here.