UCHealth launches $50 million employee education program, hoping to grow workforce

COLORADA SPRING, Colorado (KKTV) – One of Colorado’s largest health care systems has budgeted $ 50 million to pay its employees for further education in hopes of attracting and retaining workers.

UCHealth’s career development program offers several paid degrees, including bachelor’s and master’s programs in both clinical and behavioral health. It also fully funds several certifications, as well as high school graduation, college preparation courses and language classes. The following is a list of programs for which UCHealth will cover the entire account:

  • MSc or MSc in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • MS or MSc in Social Work
  • Bachelor in Social Work
  • Bachelor of Nursing (RN to BSN only)
  • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Sciences
  • Sterile treatment technician
  • Professional pharmacy technician
  • Certificate of Phlebotomy Technician
  • Paramedic
  • Certificate of Digital Literacy
  • College Start courses
  • High school graduation program
  • English Language Program (ELL).

“We have identified a number of programs that we know are in significant need, and these programs are 100% paid,” said Jeff Johnson, vice president of human resources for the southern region of UCHealth. According to him, the above list of programs that are paid in full, reflects the areas that need the most workers. There is a network of schools that employees must use to get a full salary. There are other educational programs that partially pay for UCHealth.

“The need for health workers is greater than the supply, so we’re trying to do something inside to meet the need,” Johnson said. He explained that recruitment into healthcare is no longer what it used to be, forcing organizations like UCHealth to find innovative ways to attract and retain employees. “This is a very competitive market. We used to be able to recruit a lot of people from overseas, but because of COVID people are less likely to relocate and housing is more expensive, I think that hasn’t helped us, especially in Colorado Springs. ”

Since the program’s launch on Feb. 7, more than 3,000 employees have expressed interest, though that doesn’t mean they’ve all officially signed up. However, Johnson says the program has the potential to open doors for thousands.

“Those who didn’t think at first that healthcare was an option for them, they will review and see healthcare, especially clinical positions, as something they can aspire to … Our mission is to improve lives, and it’s not just ours. patients, but so are our staff. ”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 2.6 million health jobs will be added to the industry between 2020 and 2030, meaning that the need for health workers is expected to persist long after their shortage existed. , which became critical during the pandemic. .

The Ascent Career program is just one of the ways UCHealth regulates its hiring efforts. They are also collaborating with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Pike Peak Community College, “to develop more robust programs there and then get more of those graduates,” Johnson said.

Copyright 2022 KKTV. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment