UVa Hoping for January Start of First Rung Training!

Report to IMPACT’s 9th Annual Assembly by Trish Cluff, Associate Vice President for Strategic Relations and Marketing

Thank you for the opportunity to update you on the University of Virginia Health System’s commitment to workforce education including IMPACT’s First Rung Healthcare Careers Collaborative.

A key part of the University of Virginia Health System’s mission is the training of health professionals, within a culture that promotes equity, diversity and inclusiveness.

As I shared with you in April, recognizing the need for additional workforce development, the UVA System is pursuing a foundation grant to advance the first rung concept.

Since I was with you in April, the UVA Health System completed a feasibility study, identified strategic partners including Charlottesville Works – a nonprofit affiliate of the Charlottesville Area Chamber of Commerce and Piedmont Virginia Community College, and submitted our grant application that included a letter for support from President Sullivan.

 The UVA Health System proposes to identify and engage 50 unemployed or underemployed young adults ages 18 to 25 for skills training, mentoring, education and employment to equip them for an upwardly mobile career path in healthcare.

This pilot program is a collaborative effort led by UVA among multiple partners, joined through memorandums of agreement, to provide resources, community work skills training, education and mentoring for success. Charlottesville Works Initiative has a mission to reduce underemployment, unemployment, and eliminate poverty.

It has hired community-embedded Peers, identified through both community and self-references, who use a triage tool, developed in partnership with the UVA Curry School of Education, to detect soft skills and life management resources that candidates might need to succeed, such as childcare, transportation, and other assistance. These Peers are well connected and respected in the community and specifically selected for their familiarity with the challenges young adults face in overcoming poverty.

Before continuing with the training program, UVA Health System Human Resources will provide job-shadowing opportunities to ensure awareness of job responsibilities. Piedmont Virginia Community College will provide workplace readiness and other soft skills. Upon completion of soft skills and Certified Nursing Assistant training, candidates will be eligible to apply for entry-level employment at the UVA Health System as Patient Care Assistants.

Participants that fulfill UVA employment application requirements, including criminal record checks and shadowing experiences, will begin employment as an entry-level UVA Patient Care Assistant. Once hired by UVA, additional employee mentorship and training will be provided to complement on-going community Peer support that will remain in place during the first 12 months of employment. We anticipate that participants, starting as no-or-low income, will become Patient Care Assistants earning an average hourly salary of $12.99, advancing within twelve months to a Patient Care Technician earning an average of $13.82, representing a 6% increase.

The training candidates receive equips them with a career path opportunity, even if they choose to seek employment outside of UVA following their training.

As of today, we know we were successful in receiving preliminary acceptance for further consideration.

On November 7th, we will learn of the Trustees decision to support our grant proposal. Anticipating Foundation support, we plan to implement our Career Path in Healthcare program in January 2015. Over the next two years, we participate 50 individuals completing the program and begin their health care career.

We will update IMPACT leadership as soon as we learn of the Foundation decision. The Health System would like to thank Bob Bayer, John Frazee, Sarah Peaslee, Mary Preston and Josh Scott for their collaboration.