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Solving For North Carolina’s Health Talent Crisis: NC Health Talent Alliance

L-R: Hugh Tilson, Vincent Ginski, Natalie English, and Adam Sholar

During last week’s NC Chamber Health Care Conference, NC Chamber Foundation Director of Workforce Competitiveness Vincent Ginski moderated a discussion on the NC Health Talent Alliance, which is a landmark public-private partnership formally launched back in May between the NC Chamber Foundation and the NC Center on the Workforce for Health to tackle the state’s health workforce shortages.

This work includes partnerships and utilizing the U.S. Chamber’s Talent Pipeline Management® framework to engage local partners in employer-led alliances that will help inform workforce development solutions.

The conference session focused on how the group is piloting a new pathway to streamline and optimize workforce development, which involves a partnership between state-level organizations and regional North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHECs). A core group will then work with regional teams across nine different areas across the state to manage talent pipelines effectively.

The first programs to launch will be in the following AHEC regions: Southeast, Piedmont, Northwest, and Charlotte. The graphic below depicts all regions.

Vincent was joined for this session by panelists: Natalie English, Chief Executive Officer, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce; Adam Sholar, Chief Executive Officer, North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association; Hugh Tilson, Jr., Executive Director, NC AHEC.

The objective of the session was to educate the health care sector community about the partnership and how it works to fill the talent gap North Carolina is currently facing. Some specifics included:

• The NC Health Talent Alliance involves bringing support and resources available from state organizations, coupled with specific data and flexible attainable action plans crafted by regional teams that are familiar with the local landscape.
• It leverages local expertise while ensuring that everyone has the backing and resources, they need to be successful.
• Alliance partners will aim to foster a health care workforce that is not only efficient and effective but deeply attuned to the unique needs and nuances of different communities in North Carolina.
• It’s a balanced, collaborative approach aimed at making the most of statewide resources while utilizing local expertise to create a health care workforce that meets the needs of all North Carolinians.
• Natalie English spoke about their TPM work with South East AHEC (SEAHEC). That pilot program will officially launch in the next couple weeks. She explained that Southeastern NC is one of the fastest growing areas in the country and how TPM is a great tool to help them address their health care worker shortage. Their group has already engaged 44 Wilmington employers regarding TPM in the region.

To paint a picture of just how urgent this labor shortage is for the industry, North Carolina will need 17,500 more nurses over the next 10 years to keep up with the state’s aging and growing population.

Since COVID, we’ve only become a better state for business,” said Sholar. “TPM allows us to have multiple stakeholders at the table and decide how can we organize to meet workforce needs, because we know there will be national consequences if we don’t address solutions.”

“At the NC Center we support collaboration that takes on urgent and longstanding challenges and stays focused over time,” said Tilson. “TPM helps us plan and inform decisions to allocate resources with data-driven and defined goals.”

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. 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.