Health Care & Insurance  April 24, 2024

Intermountain Health receives grant to launch jobs program

BROOMFIELD — Intermountain Health, the operator of Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, has received a $1.9 million seed grant from the Opportunity Now Colorado grant program.

The grant is intended to create new job opportunities and is one of 43 awarded in 17 industries. It is provided through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The grants help from spur innovation in education for employment and workforce development.

Intermountain will use its grant to launch Pathfinders: an artificial-intelligence-supported talent pipeline to engage, hire and provide tuition coverage for entry-level health care job seekers. 

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“It’s no secret the nature of work is changing, and employers around the world are needing to adapt in new innovative ways. I’m proud to say at Intermountain, we aren’t just adapting, we’re leading the way through programs like Pathfinders,” Heather Brace, chief people officer at Intermountain Health, said in a written statement. “By staying true to our values and embracing new ways to reach future employees, we can build the kind of diverse talent pipeline that ensures Intermountain Health will continue to innovate, adapt, and succeed.” 

The Pathfinders program provides job matching based on skills, on-the-job-training, portable credentials, mentoring, and guided career steps toward higher-level health care jobs — including tuition funds to complete certifications or pursue college degrees.  

The grant benefits job seekers in the Denver and Grand Junction areas who work in jobs in any industry that pays less than $15 per hour, do not have a four-year college degree, or are unemployed.  

Pathfinders also aims to reach nontraditional students older than 25 years of age, full-time workers, or parents of small children. It provides full-time employment, fully funded academic programs, and skill-building. Additionally, learners receive career and financial coaching and language skills support.   

Job applicants accepted into the Pathfinders pilot project can start in roles as certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, or sterile processing technicians, which lead to careers in nursing, imaging, and behavioral health. 

There are two career pathways for nursing careers: one path for nurses who will work in hospital units or in clinics and another path for nurses who will work in surgical operating rooms. 

“The program is inspired by my own and others’ experience as an underestimated, non-traditional student with minimal support. My experience taught me that multiple factors contribute to people’s abilities to grow their careers, none of which can be taken for granted,” said Marguerite Samms, chief learning officer at Intermountain Health, who is leading the program.

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