Need for Allied Health Workers in Calif. To Grow Over Next Decade
Of the nearly 450,000 new health care workers expected to be needed in California over the next 10 years, about 40% will not be required to have a bachelor's degree, according to a report released Thursday by the Public Policy Institute of California, the Central Valley Business Times reports.
Over the next 10 years, about 190,000 new health care workers in the state will be required to have just a two-year degree or post-secondary educational certificate, according to the report. Such jobs, known as allied health care jobs, include:
- Support workers, such as certified nursing assistants, dental assistants and medical assistants; and
- Technical workers, such as dental hygienists, imaging technologists and vocational nurses (Central Valley Business Times, 9/18).
Meeting the Demand
According to the report, community colleges will be key in meeting the growing demand for allied health workers.
The report recommends that:
- Community colleges expand access to health care programs;
- Community colleges strengthen outreach and mentoring for students in ethnic or racial minorities;
- State and regional lawmakers use high-quality, integrated and timely data to make educational investment decisions; and
- State officials increase oversight of for-profit colleges offering allied health training programs (McConville et al., PPIC report, 9/18).
In a release, Laurel Beck, co-author of the report and a research fellow at PPIC, said the state needs to invest in allied health training programs. Beck said, "Given the importance of associate degrees and postsecondary certificates in health care occupations -- and the need for workers who can effectively serve California's increasingly diverse population -- the state needs to ensure that its institutions are meeting workforce demand and providing good job opportunities" (PPIC release, 9/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.