The demand for healthcare services will continue to increase as our population grows and as we live longer. Advances in technology allow healthcare professionals to prevent, diagnose, and manage health and illness better than ever before. But that’s creating challenges for society and the healthcare industry itself. As a result, healthcare organizations need an ever-increasing workforce with ever-increasing skills.

Building the Region’s Talent for Industry Growth

Wisconsin’s population continues to grow and it’s estimated that by 2040, there will be 6.5 million people in the state. The fastest growing group will be those over 65 years old. At the same time, the number of residents between 15 and 64 years old – those who are most likely to be in the workforce – is projected to remain fairly stable. At some point during the late 2020s, the number of elderly Wisconsin resident is predicted to exceed the number of younger residents[1]. Employment in the healthcare industry is projected to grow 19 percent between 2014 and 2024. This will add over 2 million jobs to the industry, nationwide[2].

Our Work in Action

Clinical Passport

Clinical experiences are designed to help prepare healthcare students for the future roles that they may encounter. These training opportunities require resources and heavy coordination between educational institutions and healthcare organizations to make sure students have a meaningful experience that prepares them for work. The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin (WDBSCW) partnered with the Health Care Workforce Alliance of South Central-Southwest Wisconsin to standardize the clinical placement process in our region by using a web-based clinical passport.

The passport standardizes the documentation and paperwork needed for college students to receive clinical experiences at participating healthcare facilities. It lets students complete the requirements before their start date while also helping facilities and colleges reduce duplicative efforts and costs in placement processes.

UW Certified Medical Assistant Program

The UW Certified Medical Assistant Program began in 2018 to address a critical healthcare workforce need of hiring more Medical Assistants. The goal of the program is to prepare students for the Certified Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam through the National Healthcareer Association (NHA).

Health Care Administrative Training Program

The Healthcare Administrative Training Program (HATP) arose from an industry need in 2008 to prepare workers for administrative career pathways in healthcare. The HATP emerged form two exiting community-based healthcare workforce projects – the Medical Administration Training Program (MATP) and the Medical Reception Career Pathway Academy. While both offered unique training and skill development components, the WDBSCW collaborated with the Urban League of Greater Madison and partners to bring the projects together to meet the needs of healthcare organizations across the region. The fusion of the two projects resulted in a successful 12-233k program that couples accredited technical college coursework with hands-on experience through internships to prepare graduates for the industry.

Middle College

Middle College is a dual credit career pathway program targeted toward high school seniors who are interested in advancing their education in healthcare, manufacturing, or culinary arts. The program prepares them for the industry with technical college training and work readiness through work experience placements with local companies.

Middle College healthcare graduates can enter the workforce as medical receptionists, office and administrative support specialists, or medical customer service representatives.

[1] Wisconsin’s Health Care Workforce 2013 Report, December 2013

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook Healthcare Occupations