Concord, NH -In 2010 The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH) received a $2,380,059 grant to fund the NH Health Profession Opportunity Project (NH HPOP). The grant has provided low-income individuals with opportunities for education and training in a variety of occupations in the health care field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. The five year initiative is in it’s final countdown.
This money is earmarked to build capacity in medical assistants, home health care aides, licensed nursing assistants, emergency medical technicians, dietitians, licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses, dental assistants and hygienists, physical and occupational therapists, medical coders, radiographers, respiratory therapists, medical interpreters, and health information technicians.
“The healthcare industry is one of New Hampshire’s most stable employment fields and statistics indicate continued growth in health occupations over the next decade,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “Despite the current jobs available and the projected growth, our State is experiencing a healthcare workforce shortage. These funds will help workers invest in themselves while helping the State build this valuable workforce.”
DHHS’ OMH has lead the NH HPOP through the five-year initiative, and is optimistic about the final year as well. They have a goal of serving a minimum of 800 low-income adults and 200 incumbent workers in the five year time frame. These adults have been educated in the areas of Allied Health, Long-term Care, Child Care Health Advocacy, Health Information Technology, and Nursing. At least 25% of all participants trained will be racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities, who are disproportionately underrepresented in the NH higher education and health workforce systems.
“As we build a more skilled and diverse healthcare workforce, the quality of medical care will improve for all populations, including racial, ethnic and linguistic minorities,” said OMH Director Dr. Trinidad Tellez. “This funding opportunity [has] assured the future economic success of the individuals we train, and contribute to more prosperous and healthier communities across New Hampshire.”
OMH has partnered with DHHS’ Division of Family Assistance ( DFA ), the Department of Labor, and the Office of Workforce Opportunity in the project design, and will count on these and other partners to implement the program. The objectives include:
- Training individuals enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families ( TANF ) program as well as other low-income individuals in high-demand health professions;
- Connecting the workforce needs of healthcare employers with an expanding labor pool of skilled workers;
- Enhancing the infrastructure of training programs Statewide to recruit and retain minority students
The funding is being made available through the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families ( ACF ) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Funds are available through SFY 2011. An additional $9,617,006 may be available through SFY 2015.
New Hampshire Health Professions Opportunity Project (HPOP) offers an opportunity for motivated, eligible, low-income adults to train for and find jobs in healthcare occupations in New Hampshire; specifically health jobs that are projected to be in high demand and well paid. HPOP uses an employer-driven model to identify gaps in skilled healthcare occupations and to place trained, committed candidates in these jobs for long-term success and self-sufficiency.
Qualified applicants may be eligible to receive scholarship funds that cover the cost of tuition as well as related expenses.