Speaking from inside the cavernous Arcata Bottoms warehouse this afternoon, Senator Mike McGuire unveiled a $10 million investment to transform the spacious building into a state-of-the-art healthcare education center for Cal Poly Humboldt and the College of the Redwoods.
“The North Coast has some of the most severe shortages of health care workers and nurses in California,” McGuire said. “We have expanded the pipeline for nurses here on the North Coast by launching the Licensed Occupational Nurse to Del Norte County Registered Nurse Program on the Redwoods Crescent City College campus. …even with all this progress expanding the healthcare workforce. We needed a home and that’s why we were in the warehouse this morning.”
For years, Cal Poly Humboldt has used a 30,000-square-foot warehouse, located on Samoa Street, as a storage facility. Over the next two to three years, it will house “a state-of-the-art educational lab between the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oregon border.”
“It will be a training hub for North Coast healthcare leaders and tomorrow’s workforce,” McGuire said. “This healthcare education center will feature superb healthcare laboratories, classrooms, as well as conference rooms specifically designed to train not only nurses but respiratory therapists, radiology technologists, psychiatric techs and more.”
McGuire credited Redwoods College President Keith Flamer and Cal Poly Humboldt President Tom Jackson Jr. for leading responsibility for the new health care center.
“We clearly understand that we can do a lot to help our students if we work together and not separately,” Flamer said. “This healthcare education center is just another example of great work [President] Jackson and Cal Polly Humboldt have been able to do just that in the past four years. …there is more room for expansion for our partners in society and other areas of healthcare that we don’t yet have or even dream of.”
Jackson shared Flamer’s sentiments and gave “a very, very, very big thank you” to McGuire for helping make the healthcare center a reality.
“Things you can do for this district and its campuses rarely go unnoticed,” he said. “CR and Cal Poly Humboldt have… a connection centered around serving this region and the students who learn here. … we intend to create a thriving healthcare program. This facility and the joint academic programs that they are part of have helped us do just that.”
Several aspiring registered nurses and practitioners were present during today’s announcement. McGuire highlighted one woman in particular, Regina Taylor, who was among the first to graduate from Cal Poly Humboldt University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
“I can’t say enough about the college in both [CR and Cal Poly Humboldt]Taylor said. “The College is there to help us through thick and thin, through laughter and tears. … They prepared me to enter the medical field with confidence and the foundation to be the best nurse. I am fortunate to say that I recently accepted a position at Redwood Coast PACE as an RN.”
Keep scrolling for more photos of today’s announcement!