Cultivating a Diverse Worker Pipeline

The labor shortage in many industries is unprecedented, and healthcare is no exception. HealthONE is innovative and flexible in approaching colleague supports and benefits, doing all we can to retain our family of over 11,000 colleagues in metro Denver. According to the Colorado Hospital Association, there will be a healthcare worker shortage of 64,000 positions in our state alone by 2026.

We are excited to share some of the ways we are cultivating a diverse healthcare worker pipeline for the future. We believe that current students in middle school and high school can be our future providers, from care technicians to nurses to surgeons. Getting students exposed to and interested in healthcare is the first step.

HealthONE’s human resources team worked with nonprofit CareerWise Colorado to support our offering positions to 50 students from 26 local high schools. This two-minute video tells the story, and we are excited to work with this cohort of students to support their career trajectory for years to come.

Seven HealthONE hospitals have developed partnerships with high schools and offer such activities as job shadowing, volunteering in the hospital, tours, panel discussions, Mini-Medical University Days, interview tips and career days. Student surveys indicate that 99% of students reported learning more about healthcare through these experiences, and 97% of respondents indicated an interest in a career at HealthONE.

The nine partner schools are located in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Centennial, and Lone Tree and serve a broad demographic of students. Shared Alexander Enurah, MD, Hospitalist, The Medical Center of Aurora, “I have been very encouraged to see that we are attracting students from diverse backgrounds and experiences, many who have told me that they have had very limited exposure to healthcare environments. On inter-professional rounds, students observe the myriad roles that make up a healthcare team. We strive to create a safe space for students to offer insights and ask questions.”

As we consider the future of work in myriad industries, we have resources. Globalization, technology, and demographic shifts will all play a part in Colorado’s Future of Work. We encourage Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce member businesses interested in developing apprenticeships, mentorships, and job shadow opportunities. While setting up the system takes time, it is a mutually beneficial way to give back to the community and your industry.