Health Care Skills Gap, Health Care Training

With the country struggling to fill 3 million job openings with workers who have the right qualifications on their resumes, many health care providers are beginning to offer their own training in an effort to close the skills gap quicker.Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is part of a 3-state initiative called Partners for a Competitive Workforce that has identified the specific skills job seekers will need if they want to pursue a career in nursing or health care.

It’s a grow-your-own strategy, partnership Executive Director Ross Meyer told Bloomberg News. “We are seeing employers stepping up because they’re not getting their needs met. We’ve leveraged public, philanthropic and private dollars to fill the gap.” In Minnesota, River Community College is helping to close the skills gap through a new $100,000 grant from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development for a postacute nursing competency program that will train or retrain health care professionals to help them expand their work opportunities in the fast-growing field. It’s also part of an ongoing effort to keep qualified workers and high-quality jobs in Minnesota.Michigan employment officials say they are seeing vast job opportunities in the health care field. In the Lansing area alone, for example, the sector is expected to grow by approximately 18 percent through 2018, which is more than 3 times the anticipated growth rate of all other jobs in the region.Julianne Rose, the director of the Capital Health Care and Employment Council, told the Lansing State Journal that people interested in a career in health care need to get hands-on experience in addition to postsecondary training. She said some of the best ways people can get experience is by working in noncertified positions, through volunteering or by participating in shorter-term training programs.

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