The SAWDC Presents a Healthcare Workforce Roadmap
Healthcare and Social Assistance is Spokane's most competitive sector of economic activity. From 2013-2018, employment is projected to grow at a rate 50% faster than the average growth rate of all industries in Spokane County. With average wages that are 10% higher than the average of all industries and a broad range of entry points into well-paying, high demand occupations, serving this sector is a major focus for the SAWDC. To better ensure that our region is prepared to meet the future workforce needs of this sector, the SAWDC, bolstered by an investment from JP Morgan Chase, commissioned Community Attributes, Inc. (CAI) to complete an industry cluster analysis and talent pipeline assessment - collectively referred to as the "Healthcare Workforce Roadmap" project.
Earlier this month, CAI traveled to Spokane to present their findings from the study and to join the SAWDC in facilitating a collaborative dialogue around workforce planning. The event was hosted by St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute and attended by more than 40 individuals from 20 different stakeholder organizations, including healthcare providers, post-secondary education, economic development, and community based organizations. While the project continues to evolve, key findings thus far include:
To request a copy CAI's June 12th presentation or to request a copy of the final report please click here: Request Workforce Roadmap report
 Industry Employment Projections 2013-2018, May 2015; Employment Security Department/LMPA
 Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, Spokane County, 2013 Annual Averages; US Bureau of Labor Statistics
St. Luke's Volunteer Program: An Opportunity to Learn About
Here in our own backyard, students at all levels have opportunities to learn about the healthcare industry. Each year, St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute hosts thousands of volunteers in all departments of the organization, from clerical and patient dining to physical and occupational therapy. They host students ages 16 and over for short-term job shadows, long-term commitments, and clinical internships. St. Luke's has a flexible volunteer program that offers opportunities to fit an array of interests. In 2014, volunteers logged nearly 18,000 hours in all departments including Team St. Luke's, a rehabilitative recreation program.
St. Luke's has a strong reputation for growing their own employees. In 2014, 30 percent of all hires were previous student interns. Entry into healthcare careers takes serious research and consideration, and an experience with St. Luke's can give a student the knowledge they need to make informed career choices. "Volunteering is an excellent opportunity as we are focusing on the next generation of employees - a great opportunity to see all aspects of healthcare careers before making that post-secondary investment," says Staci Franz, Human Resources Director, who has been with the organization for over 15 years.
The Next Generation Zone's 21st Century Skills Academy is planning to partner with St. Luke's later this year to expose students to all facets of healthcare careers. Students will tour various departments and be introduced to the wide scope of opportunity that the healthcare industry offers our region. For more information on the volunteer program at St. Luke's, visit www.st-lukes.org/Volunteer.