Stay-at-home orders and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic led to declining enrollment in Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG 2.0) programs, which train participants for in-demand healthcare jobs. As the pandemic unfolded, however, local HPOG 2.0 programs adapted their procedures to continue activities while protecting their staff, students, and partners.
Abt’s evaluation of new procedures shows that they included:
- Increased reliance on social media for outreach and a transition to online and contactless enrollment procedures.
- A shift from in-person to online basic skills assessments; over time staff were certified to administer basic skills assessments on-site.
- Safety measures for in-person learning and additional technological supports to help participants adjust to online learning as healthcare training activities were paused, waived, or shifted to virtual settings.
- Increased case management services in response to evolving participant needs.
- Support for staff with new technologies and peer learning.
The evaluation was funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.