- The Obama administration this week announced a new initiative to expand job opportunities in the healthcare sector.
- The privately-led Health Careers Pathways Initiative (HCP) builds on a framework developed with a $19.6 million Labor Department grant for job-driven training at the community college level.
- Currently, hundreds of thousands of entry-level and mid-level healthcare jobs remain unfilled, and another 3.5 million are expected to be created in the next decade.
More than 50 organizations are participating in the HCP, which grew out of a White House meeting where Labor Department and HHS officials and healthcare executives convened to discuss the impact of community college grants on companies.
The program has three main goals:
- Help healthcare employers identify those skills and jobs most in demand;
- Upgrade training to meet the needs and expectations of employers; and
- Support job seekers in advancing along middle-class career pathways, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
While there are definite benefits to the American public for such a program, public training and workforce institution partnership have benefits companies as well. For example, Mercy Health West Michigan reported such efforts helped them reduce first-year turnover of new hires from 25% to 18%, amounting to a net annual savings of more than $3.2 million.
To facilitate training and educational programs, a task force convened by the Advisory Board Company will come up with common descriptions and measures of required healthcare skills. Initial members of the task force include the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Sutter Health, New York City Health + Hospitals, Fairview Health Services, and Mercy Health West Michigan.
In addition, seven founding HCP communities will be tasked with adopting a common career-pathways model that will support more than 1,000 disadvantaged individuals with job training and placement, career counseling, and paid internships. The founding communities include 15 healthcare systems, 11 community colleges and systems, seven workforce boards, and 12 community-based organizations.