Workforce Collaborative Invests $288,000 in Trainings that Results in Jobs

September 11, 2014

130 Workers Will Receive Training for Entry Level Jobs in the Healthcare Field

New Orleans Works (NOW), a workforce collaboration focused on making sure that workers get the training they need in order to succeed in the healthcare field, is helping low- to middle-skilled workers prepare for the growing number of jobs in the burgeoning healthcare field.

Housed at the Greater New Orleans Foundation, New Orleans Works (NOW) invested $288,000 in workforce development programs training workers for jobs available in the growing healthcare field. Costs cover tuition, transit, childcare, and coaching for the participants.

Delivering the services will be the Hudson Thomas Program at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System. This workforce training program was awarded $185,558 to increase the fundamental skills needed to advance the careers of incumbent entry level government employees.

The program will focus on competencies in reading, writing, and computer literacy as well as soft skills and career coaching. The goal of this program is to provide fundamental skills to incumbent entry-level employees that will prepare them for upward mobility within the organization.

“We plan to have at least 45 VA workers participate in the program, thanks to New Orleans Works (NOW).  There will be a large number of new positions with the activation of our medical center and we feel an obligation to prepare our existing work force for these promotion opportunities,said Stephanie A. Repasky, Psy.D, associate director of Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System.

Additionally, NOW’s partnership with Ochsner Health System will be continued through a $102,859 grant. The Ochsner partnership seeks to build transferable job skills for un- and under-employed people within the New Orleans area while building a talented pool of ready to work Medical Assistants, equipped with both clinical and nonclinical competencies. “New Orleans Works (NOW) has been a beneficial program in reducing turnover and helping workers acquire the necessary skills to be eligible for promotions,” said C. Missy Hopson Sparks, Ph. D., director of talent management at Ochsner Health System. “We are happy to be a part of this program again and to have the opportunity to provide training to both jobseekers and incumbent workers.”

“Many adults in the New Orleans area lack the literacy and numeracy skills necessary to move up in their careers. Through this partnership between NOW and the VA, we are strengthening the community and giving people the tools they need to succeed,” said Carmen James, vice president for programs at the Greater New Orleans Foundation.

NOW is a private-public collaborative started in 2011 when the National Fund for Workforce Solutions awarded a grant to the Greater New Orleans Foundation.  Matching funds are leveraged from local partners including the City of New Orleans, BioDistrict New Orleans, Capital One Bank, United Way of Southeast Louisiana, Baptist Community Ministries, and Urban Strategies. National philanthropic partners include the Ford, Kellogg, JPMorgan Chase, and Surdna Foundations.