Kaiser Permanente-Founded Vocational School Helps Address Staff Shortages
The Contra Costa Times on Sunday examined Kaiser Permanente's investment in a recruitment and training institution to address a shortage of qualified health care support staff throughout the Kaiser system. The Oakland-based HMO's School of Allied Health Sciences -- a state-certified, postsecondary vocational school -- provides instruction in drawing blood, taking X-rays, performing ultrasound exams and treating cancer patients with radiation.
The certificate programs vary in length and cost, but students can have their loans forgiven by agreeing to work their first three to four years at a Kaiser facility. Loans become payable only if students opt to start their career outside of the Kaiser system. In addition, the Richmond Department of Employment and Training also has agreed to pay for books, materials and child care.
Students are expected to earn from $26 to $50 an hour, on average, after completing certification.
Lecture halls at a 30,000-square-foot facility in Richmond can accommodate 90 students, and video conferencing capabilities facilitate classes in Davis and Campbell.
Kaiser in July also added classes that meet nights and weekends for working adults (Rosen Lum, Contra Costa Times, 8/7).