Education  February 4, 2022

UCHealth adds career education program

UCHealth has embarked on a program to train the next generation of health care workers — from within its own ranks through “upskilling” and from the outside.

According to a press statement from the organization, the program is called UCHealth Ascend Career Program. The program is offered in partnership with Guild Education, a national education and upskilling platform. It is designed to move current UCHealth employees into new roles while also attracting new employees interested in pursuing careers in health care.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that health care employment will grow 16% from 2020 to 2030 — much faster than the average for all occupations — adding an estimated 2.6 million new jobs in the next 10 years. In Colorado, the shortage of health care workers is especially serious as population growth needs and retiring workers far outpace the number of nurses and other health care staff members who are graduating from training programs and entering the workforce, the press statement said.

“UCHealth is taking an innovative approach to improving health care labor challenges by providing exciting education benefits for both our current staff as well as those who want to enter the health care field,” Elizabeth B. Concordia, president and CEO of UCHealth, said in a written statement. “We know the cost of higher education and certification programs can be a barrier to career growth, and the Ascend Program will help extend those opportunities for all.”

Within the Ascend Program, UCHealth will fund a selection of clinical certifications as well as college prep programs. UCHealth will also fund select degree programs in social work, behavioral health and other areas. Critical need staffing areas will get special attention.     

The total investment from UCHealth in the program over the next several years is estimated to be up to $50 million, according to the press statement. 

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