Garner turned to Halifax Community College, where she received tutoring, student support services, and advisement. After graduating in Spring 2012 with honors, she is now working with the elderly in a satisfying allied health career.
Garner is just one of many of the dislocated workers in rural communities.
North Carolina’s unemployment rate now hovers at 9 percent, half of whom are unable to secure a job within six months. These workers are more likely to drain their savings, experience difficulty meeting basic family needs, and face significant challenges in finding work. At the same time, however, the demand for a skilled healthcare workforce continues to increase. In fact, healthcare jobs in N.C. increased by 46 percent compared to 3 percent for the economy as a whole.
In 2011, IEI convened a working group of 40 North Carolina stakeholders representing healthcare employers, community colleges, workforce development boards, social services, funders and the long-term unemployed living in rural communities to study this challenge. The working group identified four key challenges that the long-term unemployed in rural communities may experience as they navigate the allied health pipeline, including career guidance, limited resources, individual supports and employer collaboration. As a result, they developed an allied health demonstration model for these individuals to navigate the process of learning about these jobs, developing the needed skill sets and finding a satisfying career.
After many months of hard work, the Turning Point Regional Health Sciences Partnership was awarded $100,000 from the North Carolina Rural Center to implement this allied health demonstration model.
“In rural communities, you have to grow your workforce… I believe this emerging opportunity to transition the long-term unemployed into allied health careers will benefit healthcare employers and citizens in the Turning Point region. Most of all, we hope to provide evidence of a prototype for rural communities to share.”
-Alice Schenall, Manager of Turning Point Health Sciences Partnership for Area L AHEC
Crissy Garner is not alone in her difficulties. However, with the help from this demonstration model, the long-term unemployed living in rural areas can make the transition into available, satisfying careers in allied health.
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This document outlines the allied health demonstration model. If needed, IEI also has evaluation criteria for grant purposes. please contact us for more information.