SPOKANE, WA: Over the next seven years, approximately 1,245 job openings for Registered Nurses are anticipated for Spokane County and creative approaches are necessary to help meet this demand. The Spokane Area Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) is excited to announce receipt of a $142,614 grant that will fuel efforts to skill up existing healthcare workers and help fill this critical talent pipeline in our region. The funding comes from the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and supports Washington State’s strategic plan for workforce development, “Talent and Prosperity for All.”
Together with Spokane Community College and Greater Spokane Incorporated, the SAWDC is collaborating with regional healthcare employers St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute and Providence Health Care in this project. Participating employers will identify 15 incumbent Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC) workers to join a cohort of students who will progress through pre-requisite coursework, enter the Associate in Nursing program at Spokane Community College, and ultimately complete the program and be promoted as RNs in their respective organizations. WorkSource Spokane will assist in training and placing new workers to backfill behind the newly promoted RNs within each organization and ensure the workforce needs of each business are met. The “Greater Minds” initiative through GSI will also partner to support students and businesses as they seek to increase the number of working adults with degrees and certificates in our area.
As the economy continues to change and Spokane experiences shifts in the demographics of its workforce, new approaches to training and retaining talent are required. This pilot project will help meet a critical need for more RNs in Spokane, and the SAWDC hopes to replicate the model for other industries with workforce challenges and assist in meeting their demands.