Workforce Corner: Grant targets training in health industry

It has been estimated that between 2010-2020, 28 percent of projected jobs will be in the health care and social assistance industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Projections Overview. The health care industry itself is proje...

It has been estimated that between 2010-2020, 28 percent of projected jobs will be in the health care and social assistance industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Projections Overview. The health care industry itself is projected to create 5.7 million jobs during that time span. Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (NWWIB) and their service provider, Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program, Inc., have been pro-active in addressing the need for health care training and recruitment in our region. Multiple initiatives are underway to address and find solutions to the needs of health care employers and emergency service providers.

NWWIB has partnered with Fox Valley Workforce Development Board and North Central Workforce Development to aid in health care workforce training after receiving a $4.8 million technical skills training grant from the Department of Labor. The mission of the Health Career and Regional Employment (CARE) Project is to supply employers in the health care industry the highly skilled and competent workforce required to fill current and projected job openings. The project will specifically support on-the-job training (OJT) in health care occupations. The CARE Project will run over a 48-month period and cover 26 counties throughout northern, central, and eastern parts of Wisconsin.

"This is a great project for both employers, job seekers, and health care training program graduates," said Melissa Burris, HealthCARE Project Liaison. "Employers are able to train new employees while having a percentage of the employee's wage reimbursed, and new employees will benefit from being trained on site with their colleagues."

CARE Project employers commit to hiring OJT participants on the first day training begins. The size of the health care employer will determine the wage reimbursement percentage. Depending on size, employers can receive 50 to 90 percent wage reimbursement for hiring eligible CARE OJT participants. Employers will work with a CARE Project Manager to assess if an eligible participant is the right fit for their company and to ensure the OJT plan is successfully completed. Health care occupations that qualify for CARE OJT reimbursement include medical and health services managers, registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, medical and clinical laboratory technologists, health care practitioners, technical workers, podiatric technicians, traditional Chinese herbalists, and midwives.

Other endeavors by Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program Inc. (CEP Inc.) include the Direct Care Worker Initiative and a focus on EMT recruitment. In northwest Wisconsin, the elderly population is projected to increase by 24.6 percent by 2035. Through grant funds received from the Health Resources and Services Administration, CEP, Inc. has been able to address the need for home healthcare training.


"The HRSA grant has allowed us to train both Direct Care Workers and their Supervisors," said Susan Bodoh, CEP, Inc.'s Business Services/Special Projects Manager. "We are also able to offer on-site training to healthcare employers on specific training topics."

This three-year initiative has been extended to provide additional training, including another training session with Teepa Snow, back by popular demand. Snow specializes in dementia care and training expert and is scheduled to return this fall. To find out about Direct Care Worker training opportunities or to schedule a specialized training session at a healthcare facility, please contact Susan Bodoh at or 715-492-5126.

Additionally, CEP, Inc. and members of the Bayfield - Ashland Counties EMS Partnership are focusing on the recruitment of Emergency Medical Technicians. A grant from the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health has allowed the partnership to be formed to address the high demand for trained EMTs in Ashland and Bayfield counties. The partnership has exhibited at community events, such as the Ashland Home Show, and is hosting an EMT Expo and Family Fun Day. The EMT Expo and Family Fun Day runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, Wis. This event is intended to increase awareness of the necessity for EMTs in the area and provide information about how to become an EMT.

For information about these health care initiatives, contact Melissa Burris, Public Information Coordinator and HealthCARE Project Liaison at (715) 682-9141 or . More information also can be found at and .

What To Read Next
Get Local