On June 16th, NHA had the honor of hosting a Congressional Career and Technician Education Caucus briefing in Washington D.C. with key representatives across the country. It was exciting to share information about how health science pathways make up the largest career cluster in Career Technical Education, having served over 1 million concentrators in the 2019/20 school year, and how the healthcare industry remains at the core of our nation’s economic success, even post-pandemic.
Over 750,000 companies employ 1 out of every 8 U.S. citizens and provide an average annual salary of over $60K. In fact, hospitals and health systems alone employ more than 6 million individuals in full- or part-time positions. By 2026, there will be an estimated 2.3 million new jobs in healthcare, with healthcare-related positions comprising 13 of the 30 fastest growing occupations in coming years.
The Role of Credentials
Industry credentials, which create a nationally recognized consistency in care for healthcare workers, are a key component in the intersection of the healthcare industry and Career Technical Education. By achieving certification, healthcare professionals gain access to meaningful employment while also helping improve patient care and increasing patient safety.
The CTE Caucus meeting also allowed us to introduce several leaders in the CTE space, leaders who are helping students gain academic and technical skills, knowledge and the training necessary to succeed in future careers. Through education or employment, students better their lives and help promote the highest level of care for pediatric patients, those nearing the end of a remarkable life, and all of life’s healthcare needs in between.
The goal of the session was to give leaders in D.C. insight on how they can help more learners have access to CTE pathways and industry credentials and how that ultimately leads to creating a viable workforce.
Continued Legislative Support
The healthcare industry has great need for capable and qualified workers. An investment in quality training pays dividends in the lives of students and their families. As negotiations continue over various pieces of legislation, we urged Congress to not overlook key topics like workforce development and Career Technical Education. Bills like the American JOBS Act, Relaunching America’s Workforce Act, and the Apprenticeship Act all contain valuable policy improvements and desperately needing funding for the nation’s workforce development efforts.
CTE provides young people with a rewarding and long-term career pathway at an early age, and our economy has immediate healthcare staffing and workforce needs. Without robust and meaningful investments in CTE, these workforce needs will not be met, but with legislation that supports and expands funding for these critical programs, everyone wins.