Health Careers for All Increased Healthcare Training Enrollment
- Low-income, low-skilled adults face barriers to training for healthcare jobs.
- Abt assessed if the program improved educational achievement and employment.
- Enrollment rose but receipt of credentials and training hours didn’t; employment in a healthcare job increased.
Healthcare jobs are projected to be the fastest-growing occupations in the next decade. Almost all jobs in healthcare require postsecondary education or training, whether for entry-level employment or for advancement to higher-paying positions. But many low-income, low-skilled adults face barriers to completing even short-term healthcare training. Career pathways programs address this by providing well-articulated training and employment steps targeted to local, in-demand jobs.
Under the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study, the Abt team evaluated Health Careers for All. Operated by the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County and funded by a Health Profession Opportunity Grant, the program provided tuition-free access to healthcare occupational training and case management. An implementation study examined the program’s design and operation and students’ participation patterns. An impact study used an experimental design to measure effects on educational and early employment outcomes 18 months after random assignment.
Health Careers for All increased the percentage of participants enrolling in healthcare-related training over an 18-month follow-up period. However, there was no impact overall on receipt of a credential or total hours of occupational training. Health Careers for All did increase employment in a healthcare occupation, but so far there were no other impacts on employment.