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Building Career Opportunities: A Local Perspective Michigan Regional Skills Alliance Conference January 2006 Ledy Garcia-Eckstein, Senior Policy Analyst.

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Presentation on theme: "Building Career Opportunities: A Local Perspective Michigan Regional Skills Alliance Conference January 2006 Ledy Garcia-Eckstein, Senior Policy Analyst."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building Career Opportunities: A Local Perspective Michigan Regional Skills Alliance Conference January 2006 Ledy Garcia-Eckstein, Senior Policy Analyst Office of Economic Development 201 W. Colfax Avenue, Dept. 208 Denver, CO Phone:

2 The Denver advantage City and County are coterminous Denver is its own workforce region Excellent relationship with State Local control of Wagner-Peyser, WIA and TANF funds Workforce system in Denver contracts with Human Services

3 Integration of workforce and economic development Four agencies merged into Denver’s Office of Economic Development: Workforce Development Business Development Housing and Neighborhood Development Small Business Opportunities

4 OED’s steps to integration Integration of staff functions: HR, financial management, marketing Creation of the Business Assistance Center Creation of a policy team Research on best practices and recommendations to move to next level

5 Recent focus of Workforce Division Creating a demand-driven workforce system Playing major role in Business Assistance Center Workforce Gap Analysis by local economist Designing sectoral programs for high- demand occupations

6 What are sectoral programs? Targeted to a specific industry Involvement by a strategic partner Training strategies that benefit low-income individuals They promote systemic change that cultivates a win-win environment for employers and job seekers (National Network of Sector Partners’ website: What Is Sector? Viewed April 2, 2005

7 Denver's Sectoral Strategies Research from NEDLC in 2000 Response to research Economy changed Learning from the experience Concentrating on highest- demand sector

8 Why did we choose health care? Demand will continue to grow as baby-boomers age Industry present almost everywhere Reasonably high-paying jobs Career ladders to move entry- level workers

9 Denver’s Health Care Workforce Programs at a Glance _______________________________ Pre-Employment Programs CNA Training Program Essential Skills Medical Training Programs CNA Practicum

10 Denver’s Health Care Workforce Programs at a Glance …continued Pre-Employment Programs Recruitment for hospitals Foreign nurse training program WIA-funded Individual Training Accounts in health care occupations HCA accelerated nursing program

11 Career Ladders for Incumbent Health Care Workers Training for food service, housekeeping and other entry-level hospital workers IV certification for LPNs Certified Nursing Assistant/Medical Assistant to Licensed Practical Nurse Training

12 CNA to LPN Program: How was it started? Could a CNA-to-LPN training program work? Issues with WIA performance standards Talked to nursing homes Asked CCD to partner with us Began in 2001 with a cohort of 21 students Six additional nursing homes came on board Two hospitals and Kaiser Permanente also signed up Trial and error Continuous improvement

13 What does the program look like today? Few students qualified to begin LPN course work Math skill levels as low as 3rd to 5th grade; reading skills, 6th to 8th grade Accelerated developmental program designed to qualify unprepared workers for entry into an LPN in 30 weeks CCD designed on-site Learning Lab 3-session progressive format; each session runs 10 weeks Low-level students take all 3 classes; others enter according to assessed need Learning Lab Phase: 3 hours, 2 evenings per week; 4 hours on Saturday, with peer group

14 What does the program look like today? Continued… Average class size Successful completers then take 4 prerequisite courses Those who complete Learning Lab and prerequisites then take on-site LPN classes Instruction received primarily from working RNs Clinical rotations one or two days per week Academic classes, also offered in 3 10-week modules, delivered two evenings per week at worksite Multiple funding streams – WIA, City General Funds, foundation funds, Pell Grants, employer tuition assistance

15 What does the program look like today? Continued… Students receive support of program case-manager Coordinates tutoring, financial aid and required documentation Program takes 2½ years to complete Learning Lab: 30 weeks Prerequisites: 23 weeks Nursing courses: 74 weeks Employers contribute 50/50 match, cash or in-kind Some students pay own tuition Total per-pupil cost, including Learning Lab, prerequisite courses and nursing courses: $8,252

16 Current status CCD now has 13 cohorts, with a total of 230 students Early cohorts are now reaching completion 77% have graduated or still in program At current graduation rate for early cohorts, 76 new LPNs will join workforce in next two years Program on track to add several hundred LPNs to the workforce within the next five years Average income will go from $22,000 per year to over $35,000 Those who complete learning-lab portion but do not graduate will have enhanced skills Improved morale, reduced turnover, and improved performance among participants

17 What has worked? DWD’s sectoral approach, using Business Specialists targeted at the health care industry CCD’s on-site delivery to nursing homes and hospitals CCD willing to continuously improve programs CCD and DWD’s connections to health care employers and to a demand-driven training strategy Employers who are committed to working with public workforce system Programs that, to the greatest extent possible: are on-site are during work hours or immediately after work have tutors/mentors at work demonstrate a high level of commitment from management

18 What problems did we experience? 2-4 year waiting lists for entrance into the LPN, RN and Rad Tech programs at community colleges Low-skill levels of most students Insufficient amount of funds to expand on-site programs to meet the demand Capacity and logistical issues around clinicals Turnover in management at facilities

19 Replicability: Why should this program be replicated? To help working poor individuals move up from poverty To address a workforce shortage To partner with employers and to create career ladders To upgrade skills through Learning Lab To work with Adult Education system and advance common goals

20 Where could the system go next ? Expanding CNA and LPN training programs Developing evening LPN to RN programs Develop foreign MD to RN accelerated program Raising science and math levels of interested high school students Developing summer and year-round internships for students in hospitals Designing a state-wide initiative to upgrade the skills of entry- level workers and to create career ladders.

21 Thank you! General Information: Ledy Garcia-Eckstein, Senior Policy Analyst Office of Economic Development 201 W. Colfax Avenue, Dept. 208 Denver, CO On Nursing Programs funded through Workforce Development system: Darcy Brannigan, Discretionary Grants Coordinator Office of Economic Development, Division of Workforce Development 1391 Speer, Suite 500 Denver, CO


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