In 2009, at the time when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that over the next ten years, the health care and social assistance sector would gain 5.6 million jobs, outpacing all other occupation groups. This job growth corresponds to our increasing demand for health care resulting mainly from our aging population. To help meet this growing demand for workers, Congress included in the ACA Health Professions Opportunity Grants (HPOG), a demonstration program within the Department of Health and Human Services established to provide health care career opportunities for disadvantaged populations.
A new book from the Upjohn Press presents a wide-ranging look at HPOG and other innovative programs aimed at providing career pathways to the health care field for low-income individuals. In Pathways to Careers in Health Care, editors Christopher T. King and Philip Young P. Hong lead a group of experienced researchers who
- show why sector-based (e.g., health care) training strategies have taken hold over the past few years,
- detail the HPOG program and its first round of grants,
- present findings from national and tribal evaluations of HPOG,
- show how to more effectively engage employers in providing workforce training for minorities seeking to enter the health care field,
- describe the importance of cultural competency among providers of workforce training,
- detail the importance of social supports for low-income program participants,
- show how a family-oriented approach to providing training can benefit trainees, and
- explain the importance of psychological supports in health care career pathway programs.