A new $ 21 million program, Health Care Training for ME, Expands the Availability of Free, Low-Cost Career Training for Healthcare Workers and Employers
Gov. Janet Mills today announced the launch of Health Care Training for ME, an initiative of her Maine Job and Recovery Plan to strengthen the health care workforce in Maine by expanding the availability of free, low-cost career training for help healthcare workers advance their careers by supporting the workforce training needs. of healthcare employers and attract new workers to fast-growing areas.
Through the new MEH Health Training website, individuals and employers can connect with training from employers and education partners, such as adult education programs, community colleges and the university system. Individuals and employers can then apply for tuition assistance to enroll in training programs, or to provide training to their employees, at little or no cost.
The initiative is a partnership of the Maine Department of Labor, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine Department of Education, the Maine Community College System, and the University of Maine System. It is supported by $ 21 million from the Maine Works and Recovery Plan, which includes $ 8.5 million allocated to DOL and $ 12.5 million allocated to the Maine Community College System for Workforce Training.
“The healthcare sector is one of Maine’s largest employers, putting thousands of people in Maine to work in well-paying jobs, protecting the health of the people of Maine. “But for a long time now, health care facilities across the state have had to deal with labor shortages and the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem,” he said. Governors Mills. “These new training programs will make it easier and more affordable for people, especially young people, to pursue careers in healthcare and move up the career ladder to higher paid jobs, which supports our employers. healthcare and strengthens our healthcare workforce. in the long run. ”
“The Department of Labor in Maine is committed to connecting the people of our state with high-paying, demanding jobs. “This new partnership and centralized website will be a crucial resource for employers and healthcare workers looking to advance their skills and workforce,” he said. Laura Fortman, Commissioner of the Department of Labor in Maine. “Health care training opportunities can now be found in an easy place to navigate and health care workers can have access to career advancement training with little or no cost to them or their employer. their. “
“The health of the people of Maine and the health of our economy depend on having a strong, high-quality health care system,” he said. Jeanne Lambew, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services in Maine. “The cornerstone of our healthcare system is the skilled professionals whose knowledge, training and compassion keep the people of Maine healthy. The ME Health Training Program will attract more people to these valuable professions and help them advance in their careers, a central goal of Governor Mills’s strategy to strengthen the Maine healthcare workforce now and in the future.”
“We are proud to be partners in this effort to provide additional paths for those who want to pursue a career as a healthcare professional. “Maine adult education programs have years of experience in providing industry-recognized training, with credentials and opportunities to launch careers in the healthcare workforce,” he said. Pender Makin, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education. “Health care training for ME helps improve access to these trainings and opportunities, while expanding collaboration with employers and higher education programs to provide more advanced training and employment opportunities.” Working directly with healthcare employers in areas such as long-term care, emergency services, hospitals, behavioral health and dental care, ME Care Health Training aims to improve workforce training and retention rates. For current health care workers, the program offers free or low-cost paths to new skills and advanced credentials, especially through short-term training options. Prospective health care workers may have access to information, training, and other support to begin their careers.
Starting today, healthcare employers with less than 100 employees across their MaineCare-accepting system can apply for training funds to address pandemic-related recruitment and retention issues. All employers and individuals can start applying for training funds on May 2, 2022.
Leaders from the Maine healthcare industry, colleges and universities welcomed the launch of the Health Care Training for ME as a vital and innovative program to help strengthen the critical healthcare workforce in Maine after the pandemic ended. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the value of the Maine hospital workforce and the rewards of the healthcare professions,” said Steven Michaud, president of the Maine Hospital Association. “Across Maine, hospital staff have saved lives and provided high quality care to their local communities. The HealthCare Training for ME program will help attract more people to these professions and retain current employees as part of the Mills Administration’s broader strategy to invest and strengthen the Maine healthcare workforce.
“The two most important indicators of pandemic recovery in Maine nursing homes and assisted living communities are staffing and strong housing,” he said. Angela Westhoff, President and CEO of the Maine Health Care Association. “COVID-19 continues to put pressure on these related factors and our members remain concerned about staff burnout, turnover and mass removal from care altogether. The MHCA is pleased to collaborate with the Administration on tangible recruitment and retention solutions, such as the Healthcare Care Training for ME, that will encourage, stimulate and cultivate the next generation of Maine healthcare professionals.
“As the largest producer of the state’s professional healthcare workforce, the University of Maine System looks forward to this partnership,” he said. Dannel Malloy, Chancellor of the System of the University of Maine. The new Training Health for ME initiative will support more Mainers pursuing well-paying jobs while caring for their community through high quality education and training that improve their social mobility and health outcomes in Maine rural. “
“Short-term health care programs at community colleges in Maine have been created in partnership with medical partners across the state, ensuring that students receive exactly the skills needed for today’s workplace. “Not only do we have excellent nursing and other 2-year programs, but we are using Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan funds to greatly expand our short-term health care training courses,” he said. Dan Belyea, Chief of Manpower Development in the Maine Community College System. “The Health Care Training Program for ME illustrates the response needed to provide a skilled workforce in high-demand health care positions and the need to act quickly and collaboratively. Our short-term training includes real-time opportunities and the accelerated path on which students can achieve a valuable credential and enter the workforce within a few months. ”
“These last years have been truly unprecedented in the growth and complexity of need within the realm of behavioral health. “Clinics and staff have had to work long hours and carry heavy loads across Maine,” he said. Malory Shaughnessy, Executive Director of the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services. Alliance members are encouraged by the Mills Administration to develop and advance new workforce initiatives in the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan. Looking ahead, we hope that these new ME Health Training resources for providers and staff will help with current needs as well as address our long-standing labor shortages. “We are excited to work with the administration on this and their broader efforts in the healthcare workforce.”
The health care training for ME is part of a series of initiatives by Governor Mills’s Works and Recovery Plan in Maine to invest in the state’s healthcare workforce. Future programs include scholarships and student loan facilitation for individuals in the healthcare professions; new recruitment efforts to encourage young people to pursue careers in healthcare; and creating healthcare career navigators to help people interested in healthcare fields determine the right career path for them.
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governor’s plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $ 1 billion in US Federal Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, to help businesses, to create good paid work and build an economy. ready for future prosperity.
It relies heavily on the recommendations of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy, translating them into real action to improve the lives of the people of Maine and strengthen the economy.
For more on the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan.