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HempsteadWorks Health Skills Partnership

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Community Challenge/Problem

The healthcare industry in the Hempstead-Long Beach local area needed to increase skills among existing workers, was experiencing a shortage of workers to fill open jobs, and was having difficulty retaining qualified employees. These challenges were negatively impacting efficiency of the health care providers as well as the local economy. Although numerous organizations were aware of the issues and were working to address them, a coordinated effort, in the form of a partnership between the workforce system and the healthcare industry, would more effectively align and focus stakeholder resources.

Board Solution/Innovation

Winthrop University Hospital assisted the Town of Hempstead Workforce Investment Board (WIB) in founding the HempsteadWorks Health Care Skills Partnership, a collaborative effort among the New York State Department of Labor, the WIB, the HempsteadWorks One-Stop System, the Town of Hempstead Department of Occupational Resources (DOOR), which is the local WIA grant recipient, and Hofstra University. Funded under a HempsteadWorks Grant, leadership training was provided by Hofstra University to supervisory personnel at Winthrop University Hospital. By making their supervisors better leaders, Winthrop became more effective in recruiting and retaining nurses. In addition, each summer since 2003, Winthrop employees have served as instructors for the Youth Leadership Classes offered in conjunction with the HempsteadWorks Summer Youth Employment Program.

Outcomes & Results

Since the program was established in 2003, the strategic planning team that leads the partnership has increased the local WIB’s ability to identify and address worker and skills shortages in the health care industry. In addition, 180 hospital supervisors have participated in customized leadership training and received university certifications. At Winthrop University Hospital, senior HR staff teach leadership to economically disadvantaged youth during the Summer Youth Program, introducing these young workers to leadership concepts within the healthcare industry. Finally, the partnership has assisted twenty Winthrop Hospital staff with obtaining their National Work Readiness Credential, certifying their skills and increasing opportunities for further training and advancement.

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