Health care council calls for feedback, partnership on five pilot employment programs

Regional Council On Health Care Workforce Development

On May 18, the San Diego Workforce Partnership, Imperial County Workforce Board and San Diego Community College District convened its first joint meeting of the Regional Council on Health Care Workforce Development. The 29 (and counting) member council is made up of health care employers from all corners of the industry—from in-home health aid providers, to widely known hospitals like Kaiser Permanente, Sharp HealthCare and Scripps Health, to mental health care providers—as well as curriculum and program designers from education and workforce development.

“I was very pleased to see so many dedicated health care professionals from a variety of providers come together to have such a dedicated discussion to the future of being able to provide great care to our community,” shares Ky Lewis, Sharp HealthCare Senior Vice President & General Counsel and co-chair of the council.

Health care is one of the region’s priority sectors, which are characterized by significant employment growth rates, strong wages and number of job openings. Reports on the sectors identify top occupations, job growth rate, wage information, talent and skills gaps and more. The council heard findings from the health care report as a starting point for discussing where education, workforce development and the private sector can come together to equip more job seekers to meet the needs of health care employers. Hearing from employers first-hand that these findings align with their day-to-day hiring struggles set the foundation for a conversation about how to take action.

“It’s been exciting to see the health care industry in San Diego come together with our educators and workforce development teams to see how we can better tap into the talent that already exists in San Diego to fill our job needs now and in the future,” says Sammy R. Totah, Chief Operating Officer at Kaiser Permanente and council co-chair. “Along with my co-chair, Ky Lewis, it has been a real honor for us to help lead this effort with the Workforce Partnership.”

Five pilot ideas were presented to explore potential solutions to health care’s hiring problems.

  1. LinkedIn Learning
    Delivered online and at your own pace, classes on topics ranging from hard industry skills like “Become a Healthcare Project Manager” to essential skills like communication, embracing diversity and effective problem solving can be used to reinforce classroom learning or on-the-job training.
  2. Mobile learning
    This touchpoint includes micro-units of interactive training delivered via cell phone (smart or not) in a self-paced, on-your-schedule timeline. This model fits into the demands of the day and meet the needs of various learners.
  3. Cohort training
    Classroom training designed to meet the needs of multiple employee training for similar positions and skills sets.
  4. Income sharing agreements
    In an income sharing agreement, an educational institution and/or employer fronts some or all of a student’s education cost. The institution creates a curriculum based on specific employer needs, leading to rapid job placement following graduation. From there, the student pays back the institution over time. In other words, “learn now, pay when you earn.”
  5. Job quality experiments
    Improving job quality is a creative approach to attraction and talent retention. Think Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as it applies to job satisfaction, where things like security and safety, predictable schedule, learning and growing, belonging and more contribute to a holistic job experience. While the concept is a bit abstract, the implications are tangible. More discussion on how to measure job quality within a pilot model is happening now.

Following the introduction of the pilot ideas, the council was asked to provide feedback on what pilot seems most valuable and whether or not they’d be interested in partnering on making the pilot come to life. The regional council will convene again on August 24 to discuss implementation.

“When we listen to partners and, whenever we can, fill in gaps together to provide a more inclusive and complete picture, that ultimately produces a landscape within this industry that allows more people to be employed,” says Cyrus Weigand, Workforce Partnership Business Partnership Specialist.

Representatives from all health care employers are invited to join the council. Email business@workforce.org to get involved.

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