WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) has introduced the Pathways to Health Careers Act that builds on the success of the Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program using the same two-generation approach that combines job training with critical family supports that low-income parents need to succeed in achieving their health care career goals.
“This Pathways to Health Careers Act offers a two-generation approach that helps lift low-income families out of poverty and lines them up for successful employment in the health care industry,” said Heinrich. “This legislation includes support for services like child care, transportation, and career coaching to provide a supportive pathway to a career – not just an entry-level job – in a well-paid and in-demand health profession. I will continue to fight for resources that allow all families to get an education and champion their way to success together.”
Created by the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program stands out among other job training approaches because of the mix of support services, career coaching, job placement, and post-employment training provided as part of the program. The program helps increase the number of qualified health professionals in both rural and urban areas in need of more workers.
The Pathways to Health Careers Act opens the door for Americans struggling to get ahead.
- Extends current Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program demonstrations to finish the 2015 – 2020 grant cycle, authorizes two new targeted demonstration grants, and begins providing regular Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program competitive grants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, in tribal communities, and in the U.S. territories, in order to build on Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program success in getting disadvantaged people good jobs while addressing the health care workforce shortage.
- Invests in rural America; it provides granting preference to applicants that are located in rural areas, are training participants who commute from rural areas, and/or who are placing Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program graduates in jobs in rural communities.
- Invests in tribal communities; the bill drastically increases the funding set aside for tribal communities, and ensures that Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program applicants are only competing amongst each other for funding (rather than competing amongst the entire country).
To date, the Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program has served over 60,000 participants in 23 states. The Pathways to Health Careers Act would authorize new grants from 2021 to 2025, with increased annual funding of $425 million, to conduct additional research and to make the proven Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program model available across the country.
“The research tells us that strategic federal investments, like the Health Profession Opportunity Grant program, can increase economic mobility for families,” said Anne Mosle, vice president at the Aspen Institute and executive director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute. “When training programs take a two-generation approach, which improves outcomes for children and their parents together, and focus on growth industries like the health sector they build opportunity for generations to come.”