Health Profession Opportunity Grants  
Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program provides education and training to TANF recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the health care field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand.

Program Participants
Grantee organizations define “other low-income individuals” and are serving a wide range of participants including: individuals without a high school diploma or GED, incumbent workers, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, and disadvantaged and at-risk youth.

Grantee Organizations
Grant awards were made to 32 entities located across 23 states. There were two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). 

Of those organizations that were eligible for the first FOA, 27 awards were made. These awards were given to:

  • Four state entities
  • Nine local workforce investment boards
  • 12 institutions of higher education (consisting of one university, 10 community colleges and one community college district)
  • Two community-based organizations 

The other FOA limited eligible applicants to Indian tribes and tribal organizations. For that FOA, five awards were made to tribal applicants, including one tribal council and four tribal colleges. 

Education and Training Programs
Program participants enroll in a variety of training and education programs that result in an employer or industry recognized certificate or degree. Training programs take place in a variety of settings and formats, including:

  • Traditional classrooms
  • The workplace
  • Distance learning

Some education programs enroll students in cohorts to create a supportive peer environment for learning. Other training programs have been designed as career ladder programs so that there are multiple entry and exit points between employment and more advanced training.

Grantees are offering educational and training programs that may lead to more than 50 unique occupations, including those for:

  • Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants
  • Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
  • Medical assistants

Supportive Services
All grantees offer multiple supportive services, such as financial aid, child care and case management to encourage participants’ successful completion of training.

They use grant funds for many of the supportive services and leverage non-grant resources for others. In some cases, grantees use a combination of funds if appropriate.

Consultation and Coordination
All grantees are required to coordinate with:

  • State agencies responsible for administering the State TANF program
  • Local workforce investment boards
  • State workforce investment boards
  • State apprenticeship agencies

There are several ways in which the grantees coordinate with these required partners.  For example, grantees coordinate with TANF agencies through formalized agreements (e.g., memoranda of understanding), form advisory groups to include a TANF representative, work with TANF agencies for outreach, recruitment and referrals, and leverage existing TANF resources with other grant funds.