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October 18, 2011 (Cleveland)

The Center Testifies Before State Workforce Development Study Committee



On behalf of the hospital membership, The Center for Health Affairs testified October 3 before the Ohio House of Representatives Workforce Development Study Committee. The committee, led by Rep. Tim Derickson (R-Oxford), is working to solicit feedback on the state’s efforts to create a competitive workforce and make Ohio a national leader in developing a well-trained and educated workforce. The October 3 meeting was held at Lorain County Community College and was the last in a series being held at various locations throughout the state.

Testifying for The Center were Pam Waite, director of The Center’s workforce initiative, NEONI, and Sarah Kresnye, community development manager. After presenting several areas of concern from within member hospitals as well as the benefits of NEONI’s recently developed Nursing Workforce Forecast Model, the following recommendations were made to the committee:

  1. The Nursing Workforce Forecast Model should be expanded to include the entire state so that it may serve as a planning resource for educators, employers, and policymakers;
  2. Investment should be made in helping those in need of employment secure the training and education necessary to fill the many available opportunities within healthcare;
  3. Children in middle school need to develop a solid education in basic math, science and reading to prepare them for careers in healthcare and related fields;
  4. A sustainable committee, similar to NEONI, should be created to bring together schools and employers across the state to address employer education and training needs together; and
  5. A single statewide entity should be developed to provide oversight to all funded workforce activities to avoid duplication and prevent the waste of limited, valuable dollars.

Keeping The Center’s Buy Northeast Ohio initiative in mind, Waite and Kresnye also made note that investing in a healthcare workforce is not only good for our members, but also for the economic development efforts currently underway in Ohio. Without a robust healthcare workforce, Ohio will struggle to successfully recruit biotech and medical manufacturing companies to the state. A strong healthcare workforce serves as a foundation for clinical trials and medical tourism, which adds significant value to the state for companies interested in relocating here.

For more information regarding the testimony or The Center’s workforce development efforts, contact Pam Waite at 216.255.3650 or pamela.waite@chanet.org or Sarah Kresnye at 216.255.3638 or sarah.kresnye@chanet.org.

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