Emerge Education Brings Together Leading Healthcare and Education Organizations to Address the Ongoing Healthcare Staffing Crisis in Central Pennsylvania

According to recent healthcare occupations are projected to grow at a rapid rate of 13% from 2021 to 2031. However, the healthcare industry is still experiencing significant staffing and labor skills shortages, which are driven in part by an aging population that requires more services and a growing number of individuals with chronic illnesses. Considering these troubling trends, Emerge Education is reimagining the way healthcare systems and educational institutions collaborate to help fill critical gaps in our workforce.

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Emerge Education offers cutting-edge healthcare programs, custom program portals and tuition assistance management tools to revolutionize the healthcare industry by improving employee skills and reducing turnover. Together with Emerge’s strategic education leadership and expert technology, UPMC in Central Pa.Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Cumberland Valley School District (CV) and SCPa Works are partnering to provide UPMC employees and CV high school students access to healthcare certificate programs that lead to sought-after industry certifications. The programs aim to further their employees’ skills and inspire students to start a career in healthcare. All online certification courses will be delivered through Harrisburg University.

“Emerge Education is committed to finding innovative solutions to help increase the healthcare workforce across the country and, specifically, in the Central PA region,” says Jim Hunter, CEO of Emerge Education. “The time is now for organizations to work together to not only better prepare healthcare workers with the skills they need to advance their careers but to also give future healthcare workers the education they need to jumpstart their careers. We are delighted to bring these well-respected organizations together to fill gaps in the industry.”

Registration for the programs is expected to begin August 1, 2023. The workforce solution will include a number of online healthcare courses leading to industry certification, such as Medical Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician and Surgical Technologist. The collaboration aims to provide a comprehensive approach to healthcare education, which includes academic training, practical experience, and hands-on learning.

“Healthcare systems like many industries across the country are facing staffing and skills challenges,” said Lou Baverso, president of UPMC in Central Pa. “That’s why we are pleased to work with Emerge and our other partners to invest in area residents and help them develop into the next generation of health care workers who will provide outstanding care to central Pennsylvanians for years to come.”

In addition to encouraging their employees to register for these courses, UPMC invites CV students to register for the new online courses to start their journey in the healthcare field. Once a student completes the program, they will be considered for an employment opportunity in one of UPMC’s seven full-service hospitals in the region. The seamless transition from certification to employment through this partnership will prove to be a critical source of skilled healthcare professionals in our community.

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“At Cumberland Valley High School, we strive to provide our students with practical skills and real-world credentials that will prepare them for success in their future careers,” says Dr. David E. Christopher, superintendent of Cumberland Valley High School. “We believe that this partnership will not only benefit our students but also our community and our economy. We’re proud to be a part of this initiative, and we can’t wait to see the impact it will have on our students’ lives.”

Dr. Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University shares that excitement. “We are thrilled to partner with Emerge Education in providing certification courses for UPMC and Cumberland Valley High School,” he says. “Our collaboration reflects our shared commitment to developing the next generation of healthcare professionals. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, it is essential to have a skilled workforce that is career-ready, and we look forward to contributing to this effort through our partnership with Emerge Education.”

This partnership will be key to recruiting talent, according to SCPa Works, which helps the healthcare industry find the best talent.

“Our research shows that healthcare and social assistance is the largest labor industry in Central Pennsylvania, and we don’t see that slowing down any time soon,” says Jesse McCree, CEO of SCPa Works. “We thank Emerge Education for bringing this partnership together. We are excited to see the impact this initiative will have on our community and look forward to continuing to work together to bolster the next generation of healthcare workers.”

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