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Health Care Initiatives

The health care industry has grown rapidly and is projected to grow in the future due to advances in medical knowledge and the increased need for medical services required by an aging population. Moreover, the growing complexity of health care delivery, including changing technologies, will require both incumbent workers and new entrants to continuously upgrade their skills. Although job opportunities exist for workers without extensive specialized training, most health care occupations require training leading to a vocational license, certificate, or degree.


Across a number of our grant programs, ETA has made significant investments in education and training for the health care workforce. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) Health Care Sector and Other High-Growth and Emerging Industries Solicitation for Grant Applications, ETA awarded 39 grants totaling over $157 million supporting projects to deliver training that leads to employment in a range of health care fields. For more information, click here. In addition, ETA awarded $14.7 million in healthcare-focused grants to develop and launch the Healthcare Virtual Career Platform and related capacity building grants.  These grants will support projects designed to provide health care training and virtual service-delivery models (i.e., Web-based services) to promote career opportunities in the health care sector.
The Community Based Job training Grants (CBJTG) program were designed to support workforce training for high-growth/high-demand industries through the national system of community and technical colleges. Grants under this program fund projects that provide workers with education/training that will prepare them to enter and advance in high-growth and emerging industries, including those in the health care sector. Grantees have addressed a number of challenges faced by the health care industry in acute care, long term care, and an array of allied health care professions. These grantees have focused on specific, as well as the broader range of challenges in the health care arena, including:

  • expanding the pipeline of youth entering the health care profession
  • identifying alternative labor pools such as new American immigrants, veterans, and older workers that can be tapped and trained
  • developing alternative training strategies for educating and training health care professionals, such as apprenticeship, distance learning, and accelerated training
  • developing tools and curriculum for enhancing the skills of health care professionals for nationwide distribution
  • enhancing the capacity of educational institutions through increased numbers of qualified faculty and new models for clinical training
  • developing strategies to retain and help current health care workers move into higher level positions in shortage areas
  • helping workers in declining industries build on existing skills and train for health care professions

Long-term Health Care Grants
On June 26, 2007, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of $3 million in grants to six organizations to prepare workers for careers in long-term care.  Click here to learn more.


  • ETA supports the creation and use of competency models across multiple industries. Competency models serve as a starting point for the design and implementation of workforce and talent development programs. To learn more about industry-validated models visit the Competency Model Clearinghouse (CMC). For example, the Long-term Care, Supports, and Services (LTCSS) Competency Model contains information that can be applied to occupations across a variety of related fields within healthcare industry sub-sectors, and helps to show more complete career pathways across these fields. The LTCSS model describes academic and workplace skills, including the key behaviors that enable workers in these roles to progress along well-articulated career pathways.
Other Federal Programs and Initiatives

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Several provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (HR 3590) are designed to expand access to healthcare services requiring new and updated skill sets for a range of healthcare occupations including nursing assistants, personal and home health aides, as well as, allied health professions such as health information technology (HIT), and clinical lab technicians and technologists. Additional information about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' investments through the American Recovery and Reivestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) are also listed below.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children and Families (ACF)