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Filling Healthcare’s Talent Pipeline

No industry is immune from today’s growing skills gap. Unfortunately, it’s a crippling challenge that is afflicting every industry in every corner of the state. As this is one of the greatest challenges facing business in the modern global economy, we started #WorkReadyWednesday to highlight efforts underway to close the skills gap long-term and make our state the number one producer of talent.

This #WorkReadyWednesday, we’re featuring Health Career Connection’s (HCC) work to connect talented and diverse undergraduate students interested in health care with paid internships in local public health and healthcare organizations. Established in 1990, this national nonprofit’s program has been integral in cultivating motivated talent to fill healthcare’s talent pipeline across the country. North Carolina’s regional program has been in operation for the past 11 years, working with many host organizations, including Novant Health, Duke Health System and county health departments – just to name a few. These full-time, 10-week internships not only give interns hands-on experience, but provide host organizations with a pool of qualified talent for potential employment. In addition to each HCC intern’s full-time duties, they also participate in five professional development workshops during their time in the program. More than 2,600 interns have already participated in the program nationwide and 76% were offered a job or an extended internship with their host organization.

Lydia Alemayehu, an intern with Wake Forest Baptist Health, created a process flow for the surgical department, while Monica Mitchell, an intern for the Robeson County Health Department, implemented a diabetes prevention program for local residents at the YMCA. HCC’s program is giving students the 21st-century career-training opportunities needed to enter the workforce, while helping produce globally competitive, world-class talent. It is programs like these that will help close the skills gap and fill talent pipelines for all industries. I look forward to sharing more programs like HCC with you in the future. As always, please join the conversation online using #WorkReadyWednesday.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber