The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) in the US is set to benefit from the healthcare workforce initiative, as the New Hanover Community Endowment announces grants exceeding $22.3m.

These grants are intended to address workforce challenges in New Hanover County.

Along with UNCW, this partnership involves Cape Fear Community College, New Hanover County Schools, and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.

The initiative focuses on recruitment, training, and retention of healthcare professionals who are dedicated to helping the community.

This grant will be used for various purposes, such as supporting students, improving facilities, creating programmes to guide future healthcare workers, and collaborating on educational initiatives.

New Hanover Community Endowment president and CEO William Buster said: “This is exactly the kind of thing that we want to invest in. We believe no change happens without collaboration.

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“Ultimately, and with these strategic partners, we believe that there’s going to be substantive change in our community.

“Now, we understand that this is more than just about funding for opportunities around jobs. We’re excited, especially because this is about maintaining and keeping homegrown talent.

“We’re looking forward to having folks who live here work here and have the opportunity to stay here and work in the field that they choose, like healthcare and nursing.”

Novant Health is also contributing $10m to increase the number of trained healthcare workers in the region.

The focus is on building a healthcare workforce that meets the needs of New Hanover County.

UNCW chancellor Aswani K. Volety said: “The three words you’re going to hear over and over again today are partnership, collaboration, and problem-solving.

“With a visionary approach to philanthropy, the NHCE grants empower UNCW, CFCC, New Hanover County Schools and the Chamber of Commerce to set new standards for healthcare workforce development and expand efforts to transform lives in our area.”