In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.
These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.
In today’s edition — Friday, Dec. 20 — the YWCA got a piece of a $6 million dollar state grant, celebrate National Sangria Day, Quinsig has a new dental lab, get your last-minute shopping done at the Worcester Historical Museum, and the menorah lighting happens this weekend in Newton Square.
YWCA Gets Piece of $6 Million Grant from State to Improve Early Ed and Care Programs for Low-Income Kids
The Baker-Polito Administration and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) announced $6 million in grant awards for facility improvements at early education and care programs that serve low-income children. Six agencies, including the YWCA in Worcester, were picked to get an Early Education and Out of School Time (EEOST) capital improvement grant, which will help increase the quality of their early education programs through critical facility repairs and renovations.
The YWCA of Central Massachusetts received $1 million for its greater Worcester facility.
“Our administration is pleased to support facility improvements at early education and care programs throughout the Commonwealth to provide families with the resources necessary for success in and out of the classroom,” said Governor Charlie Baker in a statement. “Renovating and repairing child care facilities helps achieve the administration’s goal of providing quality early education and care in all Massachusetts communities.”
The Early Education and Out of School Time capital improvement grants are financed through the state’s capital budget and provide matching funds that leverage private investment.
QCC Opens New Dental Lab, Working to Meet Growing Demand for Skilled Dental Assistants
There is an evolution in the dental world as more innovative technological advances are happening in the field of dentistry. Yet while technology is advancing, dentists in the region are experiencing a shortage of dental assistants; particularly those with advanced skill sets.
Quinsigamond Community College’s dental education programs have been working to meet this need by tailoring programs that deliver highly trained dental assistants to the workplace. This year the college opened a new dental lab that offers QCC dental assistant and hygienist students the opportunity to work on state-of-the-art dental equipment used in dental materials labs across the region.
“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,” said Chairman of the Worcester District Dental Society, George E. Maloney, D.M.D.
Dr. Brandon Cairo, of Worcester, is working with QCC instructors to help teach the college’s dental assisting students the ins and outs of what it means to be a quality dental assistant. He said the new lab is a great way for students to gain exposure to the latest in dental technology. According to Dr. Cairo, this type of hands-on education makes QCC’s dental assistants more valuable when they enter the marketplace, by having more skill sets than their contemporaries.
QCC’s new lab equipment includes CAD/CAM technology; digital cameras, a milling machine that can make crowns; a high-tech scanner; staining unit and oven, and other cutting-edge dental equipment gives students the ability to become proficient on equipment they might one day be using in a dental office.
As the only accredited program in Worcester County, QCC’s one-year 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.
Get Your Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Done at WHM
The Worcester Historical Museum is opening up on Monday, Dec. 23 for holiday shoppers in need of some Worcester gifts.
The museum will be open from 10 AM to 4 PM. There will be special sales on Monday including an 1878 bird’s eye view map of Worcester, 10% off of all mugs, a BOGO free book (select titles only), and a free Smiley pin with the purchase of a Vaillancourt Folk Art Top Hat Smile ornament.
Celebrate the Annual Menorah Lighting at Newton Square
The annual menorah lighting event at Newton Square takes place this weekend, on Sunday, Dec. 22, at 4 p.m. at Newton Square. The event includes greetings from city officials, government dignitaries, community leaders and a special guest of honor. Also, enjoy hot latkes, pipin’ hot cider, dreidels, music, menorah kits and chocolate coins.
Go here for more information and to let ‘em know you’re attending.
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Governor Charlie Baker’s office announced the launch of free COVID-19 testing sites in eight communities from July 10 to to August 14.
The Worcester Division of Public Health and the Department of Inspectional Services because of laboratory testing showing high levels of E. Coli.