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Workforce Solutions Spotlight—Penn State Health

September 22, 2023

As Pennsylvania ages, many health care professionals are reaching retirement age just as the need for health care is rapidly growing. Hospitals and health systems are leading the way in growing the next generation of health care professionals to care for Pennsylvanians and our communities.

Recently, Penn State Health and HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, announced a new partnership to offer fully funded educational opportunities for aspiring and current health care professionals.

In July 2023, as part of Penn State Health’s GROW Career Pathways, the health system and HACC successfully launched pilot programs for medical assistants and phlebotomists. Through the programs, Penn State Health covers 100 percent of tuition and materials for its employees and for community members in exchange for one year of employment after they complete the program.

“To deliver on our mission and commitment to our community, we knew we needed to develop a portfolio of programs that removes financial barriers for those who want to start or advance their career,” said Hillary Miller, vice president and chief learning officer for Penn State Health. “With GROW, we are empowering these individuals with choices.”

The first of three pilot classes is now in session with 39 students enrolled, with additional classes offered in the near future.

“HACC is excited to partner with Penn State Health on this workforce development initiative and train individuals with a desire to enter health care occupations that continue to be in demand in our communities,” said Al Griswold, HACC’s vice president of academic affairs. “At HACC, we are dedicated to providing exceptional, affordable health care training and education options for all. We are grateful to have a partner like Penn State Health to join us in this endeavor.”

The partners plan to build program offerings over the next two years for current and future employees.

“We have to take care of our employees first,” Miller added. “People are no longer spending their lifetime in a single occupation. It’s critical we provide them and future employees the guidance and support they deserve to advance their careers for the jobs and skills we need tomorrow.”

More information about the Penn State Health GROW Career Pathways and upcoming classes can be found online.

HAP and Pennsylvania’s hospital community are committed to developing tomorrow’s health care workforce. In addition to their own initiatives and community partnerships, hospitals are advocating for public policies to grow and support the health care workforce.

Learn more about HAP and the hospital community’s workforce advocacy online.