Healthcare Higher Education Program Launches
Recruiting and retaining aspiring nurses and social workers is the goal behind a new higher education program.
CT Health Horizons is a public-private partnership between the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities), the Office of Workforce Strategy, the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, and the Connecticut Hospital Association.
The three-year program is intended to address severe workforce shortages in the healthcare industry following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will use $35 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act money in the 2022 budget adjustment bill.
The CT Health Horizons programs has three strategic parts.
- Tuition assistance to incentivize low-income and minority students to enter accelerated and cost-effective nursing and social work programs
- Recruitment and retention of faculty to rapidly expand seat capacity and train the next generation of nursing and behavioral health workers
- Innovative programs to promote partnerships between employers and institutes of higher education to build career pathways
The OWS and CSCU will oversee the program and connect the efforts to other workforce development programs currently underway.
CSCU will also serve as the general program manager and recipient of funds and will work with UCONN and CCIC to implement the program.
The announcement about the CT Health Horizons program comes on the heels of the most recent jobs report.
It shows the healthcare industry has yet to rebound tens of thousands of jobs it shed when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, the Educational and Health Services sectors had over 349,000 people employed in March 2020.
Today, only 335,800 are employed in these sectors, representing a deficit of over 14,000 jobs from pre-pandemic years.
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