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Career pathways programs have developed over the past decade as a comprehensive framework of adult developmental and vocational education and supportive services designed to address the challenge of providing post-secondary skills training to low-income and educationally disadvantaged populations.

This report reviews the literature on the policy context of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program, and the challenges and opportunities related to developing healthcare occupational training and support programs. It discusses the structure of the healthcare industry and trends in healthcare employment, implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for entry-level employment in healthcare, and resulting challenges and opportunities for training programs. The report was developed as part of the HPOG Implementation, Systems and Outcome Project, which is being led by Abt Associates in partnership with the Urban Institute.

As part of a project supported by the HHS IDEA LAB Visit disclaimer page , OFA tested design thinking’s utility as a creative problem solving approach for social service organizations with three of its grantees. After introducing the grantees to design thinking, the organizations learned the methodology by using it to solve a challenge of their choice. The publication, “Creating Solutions Together:  Design Thinking, The Office of Family Assistance and 3 Grantees,” captures the process used and the grantees’ experience and reflections on the project. Not familiar with design thinking? At its heart, design thinking is a human-centered approach to problem-solving. It consists of a set of tools that focus on empathy for the end-user in the creation and consideration of any solution.

Visit OPRE’s website to learn about HPOG's Impact Study and how it plans to demonstrate how variations in program services affect program impacts. You can also access all reports on the study on this website.

A substantial skills gap exists between the education and training of the labor force and the needs of employers in many high growth industries, including healthcare and manufacturing.

Career pathways is gaining steady acceptance as an integrative framework for promising approaches to post-secondary education and training for low-income and low-skill adults.

This Annual Report provides a snapshot of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program at the end of its third year of operation. The report summarizes program operations and participant activity and outcomes from HPOG’s inception through the third year of grantee activities.

In line with the Vice President's report and WIOA, the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program released a paper, Using Labor Market Information to Design Job-Driven Training Programs (PDF), in December 2014, outlining eight steps to help programs identify, translate, and use data and Labor Market Information (LMI) to inform training program offerings and build strong partnerships with local employers. Understanding and using traditional, real-time, and wage related data to verify employer demand can help ensure programs offer education and training opportunities that are job-driven and will lead to promising career pathways for program participants.

HPOG offered the Webinar, "Using Labor Market Information to Design Job-Driven Training Programs" to present this paper, outline the importance of Labor Market Information, and review in detail the eight components of the tool discussed in the paper. A case study of a hypothetical program was also used as an illustrative example.

This report is designed to help programs funded under HPOG understand the policies, constraints, and pressures affecting key partners. It describes key differences between Federal welfare, workforce, and education programs, with a focus on performance accountability, and provides essential information about these programs that HPOG-funded organizations should have as they approach their partner agencies.