A Hartford-based workforce board is getting $4.98 million in federal funds to train unemployed registered nurses, medical coders and information technology professionals to work in fields with available jobs.

The New England Knowledge Corridor Health Careers Project will develop a curriculum for people to work in medical coding–a field that is becoming more complex–and will create and accredit a program to train workers in health information technology, skills that will be more in demand as health care providers increasingly use electronic medical records.

The project aims to train 170 unemployed nurses, medical coders and health IT professionals, with classroom and on-the-job training.

Capital Workforce Partners applied for the grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, and will work with community and state colleges, hospitals, and other health care providers in the Hartford and Springfield, Mass., regions.

Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, who wrote a letter supporting the application, said the training will target fields in which companies are hiring people from other countries. “These are specific areas where there’s an identified and strong need in the health care community,” he said.

Other organizations working on the grant include the Capital Community College, Charter Oak State College, Asnuntuck Community College, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, VNA Health Care, Baystate Medical Center, Genesis Health Care/Heritage Hall North, Cooley-Dickinson Hospital, UMass Amherst, Springfield Technical Community College, and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Mass.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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