New AmeriCorps Program Tackles Healthcare Workforce Shortage
DENVER – Today, the Polis-Primavera Administration, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Serve Colorado, and Community Resource Center are proud to announce the creation of the Colorado Healthcare Corps. Colorado Healthcare Corps will recruit approximately 150 AmeriCorps members to serve in healthcare facilities statewide, providing critical support to the state’s healthcare system.
Recruitment will focus on individuals who have certifications as Certified Nursing Assistants, Qualified Medication Administration Personnel, and Medical Assistants, as well as those who are interested in earning those certifications - several health care facilities will be able to provide additional training for participating members.
“We are improving and expanding our workforce while providing an inspiring opportunity for Coloradans interested in launching a career in health care,” said Governor Jared Polis.
AmeriCorps members serving with the Colorado Healthcare Corps will receive a living allowance, housing support, and healthcare and childcare benefits. In addition, AmeriCorps members will earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to repay student loans, pay for future education expenses, or if they are over age 55, transfer to a child or grandchild to use.
“Healthcare Corps is another example of how national service and volunteerism address critical needs of our state and communities. This new program will help train individuals interested in health care career fields while providing them with the benefits associated with serving as an AmeriCorps member,” said Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera. “This is a great opportunity for individuals interested in starting or returning to a career in healthcare.”
Both the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment have been critical partners in the development of this program, providing funding and workforce development support respectively.
“Certified nursing assistants and medical assistants are truly heroes, serving alongside other medical providers. These are meaningful, mission-driven career paths. The pandemic has allowed us to see the importance these roles play in our communities. I’m hopeful that we can build a strong pipeline that strengthens the healthcare workforce and provides Coloradans with the best care possible,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Community Resource Center (CRC), a nonprofit organization that builds capacity and strengthens communities throughout the state, will manage the Colorado Healthcare Corps. CRC will develop and manage partnerships with healthcare facilities, lead AmeriCorps member recruitment, training and placement, and support members as they transition from the program to the next step in their professional development and careers.
"This is an exciting opportunity to support and expand Colorado's workforce," said Joe Barela, Director of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. "Individuals new to healthcare have the opportunity to earn certifications in much needed positions in Colorado. In addition, all participants, including those thinking about returning to the workforce, will receive valuable career coaching and real-world experience in the field.”
For those interested in learning more, virtual information sessions will be available at 5pm on Thursdays during the month of March. To sign up for the information sessions, learn more about the initiative, and to sign up to serve, visit servecolorado.colorado.gov/healthcare-corps.