San Juan College, Ute Tribe partner to offer free health care career training

The Daily Times staff
Lorenzo Reyes

FARMINGTON — San Juan College and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe are partnering to offer a program that provides free training for those interested in pursuing a health care career by earning a fast-track certificate in eight to 16 weeks.

The Health Profession Opportunity Grants program allows students to pursue a career as a certified nurse assistant, emergency medical technician, phlebotomy technician or pharmacy technician by receiving free tuition, as well as funding to cover fees, course materials, uniforms and more.

The program is managed by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, but students across the region may apply for admission. The program features eligibility restrictions that include income, residence location by zip code and program option. The program is administered by the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

"We are pleased to partner with the Ute Mountain Learning Center to connect students with funding that can put them on the path to higher paying, rewarding careers," Dr. Lorenzo Reyes, San Juan College's dean of workforce and economic development, stated in a press release announcing the program. "We know there is a high interest in health careers, and this grant represents a wonderful opportunity for students who qualify."

Members of the college staff are available to help applicants enroll and complete their chosen field of study, as well as connect them to support services.

"We understand that whether students are returning to school or coming to college for the first time, it can sometimes feel overwhelming," Liesl Dees, San Juan College's director of continuing education, stated in the press release. "We are excited to walk students through the process from start to finish to ensure they have the support they need to reach their full potential. Enrolling in an entry-level health care program can certainly serve as the beginning to numerous options to advance in a health care career."

To enroll in the program or apply for eligibility, visit or call Jeanne Winchell, workforce development specialist at San Juan College, at 505-486-5511 or email her at

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