An analysis conducted by Inspire Success focusing on healthcare talent pipeline opportunities in northeast Indiana identified a number of challenges that need to be addressed.
The analysis is part of a healthcare initiative supported through an Indiana Department of Education Explore, Engage and Experience grant secured by the Region 8 Education Service Center. Northeast Indiana Works is a key partner in the initiative and will be developing a healthcare career awareness campaign and helping develop or enhance work-based learning opportunities in northeast Indiana.
The Northeast Indiana Healthcare Consortium, formed and facilitated by Northeast Indiana Works, will also play a significant role in guiding the initiative, as will Region 8. Healthcare is the region’s second largest industry sector employer.
Among the challenges identified in the analysis:
- Information on healthcare career and college events and experiences available to students in grades 7-12 is not easily accessed or communicated.
- There is confusion for employers and educators about who is the best person to connect with when attempting to coordinate/provide work-based learning experiences.
- Work-based learning experiences are often based on a relationship held by one person at a school or institution/organization.
- There is a need for more personnel to develop, coordinate and oversee work-based learning partnerships for schools and employers.
- Program providers aren’t always aware of what other providers are offering.
- Students lack key employability skills needed to be successful in healthcare work-based learning opportunities.
- Students are generally unaware of what steps to take to pursue a career in healthcare.
- In many instances, employers are not prepared to host high school students and don’t know what the students are able or allowed to do.
- There are not enough relevant and engaging work-based learning opportunities to meet demand.
- Students do not have access to many of the health science Career and Technical Education (CTE) course offerings.
Two consortium subgroups are developing strategies to address some of the challenges. One group is focusing generally on communications/awareness and the other is concentrating on work-based learning.