Illinois Funding Pilot Program

Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn announced funding for $750,000 to develop a pilot program to help workers in the state receive training in healthcare. The State is working in partnership with the National Latino Education Institute, a not-for-profit community services organization that provides quality job training, education, and employment services.

The state’s investment will help a not-for-profit organization called New Start, Inc. offer a Northern Illinois Regional Certified Nursing Assistance (NIRCNA) training program in Latino communities in the state. New Start has been implementing workforce training for over 40 years.

The new funding will enable New Start to offer the NIRCNA training program at the National Latino Education Institute in Chicago which will provide training in Cook and surrounding counties. The funding will also enable the Central Illinois Regional Certified Nursing Assistant (CIRCNA) training program to be given at New Start’s Springfield Illinois office so that training can be provided in other counties in the state.

The Governor has also directed the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to lead a Health Care Workforce workgroup to recommend steps that the state needs to take to fill thousands of new healthcare jobs. The workgroup will assess and plan for jobs to meet the health needs of the state’s growing, increasingly diverse, and aging population.

The workgroup will assess the existing healthcare workforce landscape and analyze the gaps that need to be filled both for current needs and the impending demand that will be apparent once hundreds of thousands of people gain access to health coverage as of January 1, 2014. The workgroup will recommend a workforce action plan by September 2013 to immediately address any gaps that are needed to strengthen training and education for healthcare jobs.The workgroup not only includes IDPH, but also departments of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Healthcare & Family Services, Aging, Financial & Professional Regulation, Employment Securities, Veteran’s Affairs, Human Services, and Children & Family Services. Support is also available from the University of Illinois (Chicago) School of Medicine and from external stakeholders as needed.

In addition, the Illinois Workforce Investment Board just voted again to set up a Health Care Taskforce to develop a long-term strategic plan to maintain a sustainable labor force in the state. The taskforce will allow for broader stakeholder engagement and build upon the current work of the Illinois Pathways and Health Sciences STEM Learning Exchange.

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