Health care is one of the fastest growing industries in the Southwest Washington-Portland metropolitan area. It is projected to grow 20 percent by 2025, and could bring almost 32,590 new jobs to the region.
A sector this large has numerous needs and Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) (formerly the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council) and its Oregon partners in the Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative (CWWC) heard from industry that a shortage of workers for the long-term care sector was a pressing regional need.
In addition, long-term care:
- Represents the fastest growing subsector within the healthcare industry – 30 percent in the next 10 years.
- Provides many jobs requiring an associate’s degree or less. These middle-skilled occupations are highly sought by a large percentage of jobseekers using the services of the workforce training system.
- Experiences a high turnover rate – more than double the turnover rate compared with hospitals.
To address the growing need for long-term care employees, WSW and its CWWC partners, in conjunction with industry, developed the “2015-2017 Long-Term Care Workforce Plan” with goals of:
- Targeted marketing and messaging to job seekers
- Developing a vetting process to refer high-quality candidates
- Training opportunities and exposure for youth