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Awarding of Skills Capital Grant a Crowning Glory for College’s Dental Programs

September, 2019
  • QCC students and the community will reap the benefits of the new cutting-edge equipment being purchased.
    QCC students and the community will reap the benefits of the new cutting-edge equipment being purchased.

It’s been an exciting start to the fall semester at Quinsigamond Community College, particularly for the college’s dental programs. In late August the college received word that it was awarded a $476,807 Skills Capital Grant. QCC received the third largest grant out of the 45 grants awarded to high schools, colleges and educational institutions in the Commonwealth. QCC has a long history of being awarded Skills Capital Grants. In 2016, the college received $488,735; $431,900 in 2017 and $10,000 in 2018.

This grant is being heralded by the college as a perfect way to complete its new dental materials lab, which the college rolled out this fall to create a hands-on teaching classroom to train future dental hygienists, dental assistants and new expanded function dental assistants. The grant funding will be used to purchase state-of-the-art dental equipment used in today’s dental materials labs across the region.

“We’ve been told that there is only one other training lab at a college or university in the state with this level of equipment,” said QCC Dental Clinic Operations and Facilities Manager Sheryl Ficorilli.

Dentists and community leaders in the region have sung the praises of QCC’s dental program and its new dental materials lab.

“The dental materials lab is critical to student learning in QCC’s program, which offers dental hygiene, as well as dental assisting classes in the lab,” said Chairman of the Worcester District Dental Society, George E. Maloney, D.M.D. “This lab is part of QCC’s efforts to address Greater Worcester’s need for dental health care by creating a workforce of skilled clinicians in the field of dental hygiene and dental assisting.”

The state-of-the-art equipment being bought will enable students to learn how to utilize CAD/CAM technology and digital cameras. A milling machine that can make a crown; a high-tech scanner; staining unit and oven, in addition to other cutting-edge dental equipment are also being purchased. 

“This equipment will support high-quality career and technical training of more than 600 dental hygienists and dental assistants, including new expanded function assistants, and help meet significant demand in Central Massachusetts,” said Executive Director of MassHire Central Region Workforce Board, Jeffrey Turgeon.

Once the new equipment is received, QCC’s dental staff will spend two days training in order to be totally versed on how to operate each piece of equipment, before they begin training students. 

“We are all very excited about this,” said QCC’s Professor of Dental Assisting/Hygiene, Jennifer McKeon.

“This project will have a positive impact on QCC students and our residents for years to come,” said Brian A. Genna, D.M.D.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the percent growth rate in employment from 2018 to 2028 for dental assistants will be 11%, compared to the average growth rate of 5% for all other occupations.

“A new facility is necessary to attract more and well-qualified applicants who will one day work in the fastest growing job sector in the United States,” said David Handsman, D.M.D., M.D.S. “Access to affordable healthcare is critical to the continued development of the Greater Worcester area. A new dental materials lab will help meet a clear need to our city and community.”

QCC’s Dental Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), which is nationally recognized by the United States Department of Education as the sole agency to accredit dental and dental-related education programs conducted at the post-secondary level. To learn more visit Dental Assisting.

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