Healthcare organizations receive recognition for local, inclusive hiring practices and improving job quality for their entry-level staff

Alameda Health System (AHS) has been recognized as a 2019 CareerSTAT Frontline Healthcare Worker Emerging Champion by their peers, CareerSTAT announced today. The award recognizes healthcare organizations investing in the skills and career of their frontline workers.

In 2018, AHS partnered with the SEIU-UHW & Joint Employer Education Fund to launch the ‘Bridge to Healthcare’ program, an 18-week foundational skills development program to prepare environmental services technicians and food services workers for career advancement. Offered through a local community college, participants create a detailed career plan and gain basic, technical, and professional skills, resulting in college credit.

Launched in 2015, in partnership with the Oakland Unified School District, HealthPATH comprises seven pipeline programs that focus on internship placement and other work-based learning experiences, designed specifically to expose low-income youth of color to healthcare careers. One of these programs, Health Excellence & Academic Leadership, or HEAL, serves over 250 high school and middle school students annually. Student interns shadow providers in multiple departments, receive mentoring and career exploration, and participate in experiential simulations.

In 2018, AHS partnered with Oakland-based community development corporation The Unity Council to create a 12-week, paid medical assistant refresher training and internship placement program targeted towards women on public assistance.

AHS is currently in discussions with Jewish Vocational Service San Francisco to develop and provide paid internships for dental assistant graduates. Additionally, partnerships with the California Employment Development Department and Alameda County Workforce Development Board will aim to recruit more county residents with barriers to employment.

Through a network of partnership, AHS is able to target its recruitment efforts to marginalized populations and connect incumbent and prospective workers with services and support to secure jobs paying a livable wage.

CareerSTAT, an employer-led initiative of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, marks its sixth year of sponsoring the champion program. It recognizes employers who are making great strides to support healthcare’s critical employees – nursing aids, medical assistants, food service workers, housekeepers, and others – who make up the frontline workforce and want to grow their careers.

This year’s Champions and Emerging Champions have developed strategies to hire a workforce that reflects the community in which they operate. They have made training, education, and development opportunities accessible to more employees, regardless of financial ability or other barriers, and are helping non-clinical workers move into clinical positions with a defined career path that leads to jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.

“AHS’ investment in pipeline programs and career advancement initiatives stems from our desire to have a workforce that mirrors the diversity of our patient population and to provide culturally-appropriate care,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Tony Redmond.

Champion organizations will be honored later this month during the National Fund for Workforce Solutions’ national convening in Dallas, Texas. Detailed profiles of all nine organizations, along with further information on their skill and career development programs are available on the CareerSTAT website.

Jeanne Herrera