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Landmark Partnership Will Tackle NC’s Health Care Worker Shortage

The NC Chamber Foundation and the NC Center on the Workforce for Health launch public-private partnership to address NC’s health care workforce shortage

RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC Chamber Foundation and the NC Center on the Workforce for Health formally launched a landmark public-private partnership on Thursday, May 4 that will aggressively address the state’s critical health care workforce shortages.

North Carolina will need 17,500 more nurses over the next 10 years to keep up with the state’s aging and growing population. This innovative partnership will create long-term solutions that address nursing and other workforce shortages within North Carolina’s health care sector, ultimately resulting in nine employer-led, regional talent pipelines across the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and made worse the shortages of health care workers our state has faced and will continue to face unless we do something different.” said Hugh Tilson, director of the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC), which is one of the organizations that coordinates the NC Center on the Workforce for Health. “Without the workforce, access to health care will be even more challenging, particularly in rural areas. This effort responds to the urgent need for immediate and sustained action to address those shortfalls.”

“As North Carolina competes globally for job growth and investment, education and workforce are the linchpin to continued success and increasing prosperity across all corners of the state,” said Meredith Archie, president of the NC Chamber Foundation. “Our health care workforce drives healthy communities, and this partnership will help ensure sustainable talent pipelines are in place for some of our most critical jobs.”

This partnership will utilize the principles of the Talent Pipeline Management® Program to:

  • Organize regional public/private partnerships to recruit and retain talent;
  • Define the specific levels of demand for health care workers and create all necessary programs to fill that demand;
  • Identify gaps in training availability and take steps to fill those gaps;
  • Create systems of support to help more individuals complete the needed trainings to join the health care workforce; and
  • Work with employers to identify practices for improving retention.

Within 18 months, the partnership will create at least three formalized pilot programs in different regions across the state and within three years the partnership will cover the entire state.

The collaboration between the research center of the state’s largest business organization and the state’s primary health care workforce organization has earned support from the N.C. Institute of Medicine, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Community College System, the University of North Carolina System, N.C. Department of Public Instruction, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, and the N.C. Independent Colleges & Universities. Read statements of support here.


About the NC Chamber Foundation
The NC Chamber Foundation works to create a strong, sustainable future for businesses and communities across North Carolina. Through nonpartisan research and collaboration, the Foundation serves as a convener, working to disseminate information related to complex issues, track progress, and focus on a future-driven vision to expand economic growth in the state of North Carolina. The Foundation is a nonpartisan affiliate of the NC Chamber. For more information, visit

About the NC Center on the Workforce for Health
The NC Center on the Workforce for Health provides a forum for health employers, workers, educators, regulators, policymakers, and others throughout North Carolina to convene, discuss challenges and opportunities, share best practices and lessons learned, identify potential solutions and metrics for success, and monitor progress toward addressing these challenges. The statewide center is coordinated by NC AHEC, NCIOM, and the Sheps Center Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy. For more information, visit

About the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC)
The North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) provides and supports educational activities and services with a focus on primary care in rural communities and those with less access to resources to recruit, train, and retain the workforce needed to create a healthy North Carolina. NC AHEC envisions a state where everyone in North Carolina is healthy and supported by an appropriate and well-trained health workforce that reflects the communities it serves. For more information, visit