As the baby boomers moved through the ages, they upset the apple cart every step of the way, from the number of hospitals and schools needed to the music most Americans listened to. As the older ones begin to enter their “Golden Years” we’ll soon see more changes. This huge age wave will increase our need for direct care workers in skilled nursing homes and, in particular home health care, because they’ll want to remain in their homes as long as they possibly can. Our Minnesota Labor Market Analysts are projecting that the need for home health aides will grow by 42% and for nurses’ aides by 14% by the year 2019. We may have a problem finding enough people to fill these jobs if something isn’t done soon about their pay rates and benefits. The link to PHI has a number of articles about the problems for this workforce in regard to benefits, wages and the shortage of people.
Every once in a while I write a brief informational article related to careers in healthcare. This is one of them.
Occupational therapist assistants help people with disabilities develop skills. They have opportunities to be creative through the design and adaptation of equipment and exercises to help patients perform tasks while they work under the supervision of Occupational Therapists. To become an OTA, one must earn an Associate degree from an accredited program, sit for the National Certification Exam and apply for a Minnesota License. According to Minnesota labor market analysts, the number of jobs for OTAs will grow by 18% between now and 2019. Though this is very rapid growth, it is a small occupation with only about 460 current positions. Most positions are in the offices of health practitioners, nursing care facilities and hospitals, as well as elementary and secondary schools and home healthcare agencies.
The following Minnesota schools have accredited programs: Anoka Technical College, St. Catherine University, and Northland Community and Technical College. A fourth program, at Herzing University, is brand new and developing program status. The median wage for OTAs is about $20 per hour (median means 50% of people in the occupation make less and 50% make more).
People who live within commuting distance of Mankato might be interested in the new Health Support Specialist training now available at South Central Community College (SCC). SCC has partnered with Aging Services of Minnesota to create the Health Support Specialist (HSS), a new concept of care and career pathway for aging services facilities known nationally as “Culture Change”. The HSS is a new innovative career model which provides an opportunity to change the traditional system of compartmentalizing jobs by creating a team-based and person-directed environment .
In the HSS program, employees are given the opportunity to advance in their careers through education and on-the-job experiences. The HSS curriculum consists of seven courses for nine college credits and an apprenticeship on-the-job training piece. Upon completion, students will receive a HSS certificate from South Central College and a nationally recognized Registered Apprenticeship Health Support Specialist Certificate from the Minnesota Department of Labor.
This new model of care has potential to reduce recruiting and turnover costs and increase employees morale and skill, which can improve overall quality of care and satisfaction. It creates entry-level employee incentives, and increased efficiency in staffing through cross training.
“The Health Support Specialist program will provide staff with the training to become well rounded, multi-skilled employees. This is important because HSS blends with the culture change movement, putting residents first,” stated Anne Willaert, Health Grant Coordinator for South Central College.
This program is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Scholarships will be available to cover the cost of tuition of the initial training sessions. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
Prerequisite: You must be on the nursing assistant registry as either a Certified Nursing Assistant or a Home Health Aide.
To register for the HSS course go to http://tinyurl.com/4h2st5v For additional information regarding the Health Support Specialist program contact Meghan Coleman, Center for Business & Industry, HSS Instructor/Coordinator at 507-389-7410 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you know any adults who haven’t completed their degree? Well, here’s a chance for them to finally earn their associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system launched a new project for adult degree seekers, thanks to an $800,000 four-year grant from the LUMINA Foundation for Education.
The grant funds the Returning Adults to Progress in Degree (RAPID) Completion Program. RAPID helps people who dropped out of college just a few credits shy of earning a degree. RAPID helps adults to re-enroll in college and earn their degrees by increasing awareness and utilization of adult centered programs and credit-for-prior learning options among adults in Minnesota. Options include taking online courses, enrolling in accelerated programs with flexible start dates and receiving course credits for work experience.
According to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, currently, about 45 percent of Minnesota’s adults have college degrees. A recent study by Georgetown University researchers predicted that 70 percent of the jobs in Minnesota will require postsecondary education in the next decade or so.
New or returning students can find information about the RAPID program options by calling 800-456-8519.
The Governor’s Workforce Development Council (GWDC) has been awarded a $150,000 grant to lead the state’s effort to develop a comprehensive healthcare workforce development plan. The work is already underway; additional data collection, analysis, and dissemination will be included. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is the lead applicant; educational institutions and systems, healthcare employers, the Minnesota Department of Health, and numerous other stakeholders have already committed to the project.
The impetus for developing this plan stems from: the aging population, increasing diversity and healthcare disparities, rural needs and access issues, and underserved populations. Healthcare Reform at the state and federal level is expected to result in the need for additional healthcare providers and support staff.
The GWDC has contracted project management to HealthForce Minnesota (HF), the Healthcare Center for Excellence located at Winona State University. HF will use regional analyses to identify region-specific needs and will work with a number of different task forces to create an inclusive statewide workforce plan for the future, which will be the end product. There will be a follow up opportunity to apply for a larger implementation grant at the end of this project.
I’m a native Minnesotan and over the years I’ve worked for a number of companies with headquarters outside our state borders. Almost without fail my work colleagues from other parts of the country, even those from Midwest cities like Chicago, viewed Minnesota as the cold, frigid outback; an unsophisticated place where we still ran around with coonskin caps and used outdoor privies. I’ll admit, our winters are frigid and snowy, but sometimes that’s not a bad thing. It keeps out those lacking the stamina, the hardiness, to thrive in this climate; those lacking a true survival instinct! Can you tell I’m proud of our great state and the people in it?
Here are some highlights from one of our state economic analysts, Magda Olson:
- With a real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $50,797, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area ranks sixth among the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul has the second-highest labor force participation rate (72.5 percent) among the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks first among the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the number of Fortune 500 companies per capita, exceeding other large areas such as Houston, Texas (second); New York, N.Y. (sixth); Chicago, Ill. (12th); and Los Angeles, Calif. (19th).
- With five of the 223 Forbes largest private companies, Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks eighth among the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks first in the number of S&P 500 companies per 100,000 residents among the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
- According to data from the Energy Information Administration, the Twin Cities have the fifth lowest electric rate for industrial users among the largest cities nationwide.
For more information, go to:
Have you heard that Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in our economy and has continued to hire people during this recession? Maybe you’ve been thinking about checking out careers in this field but don’t know where to begin.
Well, here’s your chance to get the latest information. If you are new to healthcare and are wondering which occupations to consider, which ones are now and will be in demand, and where to get the required education, this FREE event is for you!
You are invited to participate in an event to help you begin your search for a Healthcare career. Join us for the morning from 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. to hear about the occupations in demand, the career paths that lead to them, and the schools that offer these programs. Learn about Minnesota’s ISEEK Career Exploration web tool. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk with healthcare educators and professionals already working in these fields.
Occupations in demand will include Emergency Medical Services, Dental Assistant, Medical Assistant, Nursing, Home Health Aide, Nurses Aide, Health Information Technology, Medical Records, Physician Assistant, Medical Lab Technician, Physical Therapy Assistant and more.
7:30 a.m. – Doors open for registration and seating
8:15 – 8:30 a.m. – Welcome – Susan Speetzen, Healthcare Industry Specialist for Department of Employment and Economic Development, plus an overview featuring the healthcare occupations most in demand
8:30-9:00 a.m. Keynote speakers – Marlo Dworsky & George Moore will talk about their experiences of changing from non-healthcare careers to becoming a Nurse and Physician Assistant
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Rachel Vilsack, Metro Region Labor Market Analyst, Department of Employment and Economic Development. Learn about Minnesota’s in-demand health care careers now and in the future. Resources provided will help you explore careers, educational programs, and how to connect with employers.
10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Denise Felder, MnCareers Editor, ISEEK, Healthcare Career Exploration Demonstration of Occupations in Demand.
10:45a.m. – Break
11:00 – 12:30 Occupational Round Robins (every 15 minutes). Meet with individual healthcare professionals & educators from different occupations and
get your questions answered.
Preferred registration deadline is Monday, September 20, 2010 or you may sign up at the event. Register today, the event is FREE, seating is limited! For registration questions please contact 952-487-8343.
If you have a membership card from any WorkForce Center (9 digits beginning with 200……)to register, please go to www.positivelymn.com/hennepinsouth click on “email us” (upper left) and specify: Register for Health Care event and include your name, address, phone number and email address.
If you’re not a current WorkForce Center member: Go to your closest WorkForce Center, http://tiny.cc/wemqk, and get a membership card first. Then follow the above steps.
If you don’t have time to go to a WorkForce Center (or alternatively, what Carolyn had…”all other event attendees…), register by calling Normandale at 952 … …. (if you have to include your website for online registration, then I guess you have to but the idea is to get people to a WFC first to at least get a membership card).
All other event attendees-Register online at http://normandale.augusoft.net.