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HPOG Promising Practice: The WorkPlace, Inc.–Education, Training, & Support Services

Published: August 14, 2020
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Promising Practices


Data drives career pathways for HPOG 2.0 participants.

The Southwestern Connecticut Health CareeRx Academy at The WorkPlace, Inc. in Bridgeport, Connecticut uses hard data to bolster positive impacts related to healthcare training completion and employment. The Health CareeRx Academy partnered with Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy to analyze Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program data on career advancement in the healthcare field. Brandeis University studied the first round of HPOG participants (HPOG 1.0) and concluded that HPOG is very effective at getting people into an initial training and an entry-level healthcare job, but the model for career advancement needed to shift. Confusion about projected rates and paths of growth in certain healthcare jobs impacted the training participants chose. This led to some participants dropping out of training before completing or attempting to switch to a new field.

The Passport to Career Advancement is a series of four workshops designed to help Health CareeRx Academy participants plan their career pathways. Passport workshops map out the steps participants will take to get them to their dream jobs. Each participant gets a passport when entering the program, and it gets stamped at every workshop attended. The workshops begin at entry into the Health CareeRx Academy and continue until participants have worked in their first job for about a year and are ready to move on to a better paying position or continue training. Once their passport is fully stamped, they receive a gift card sponsored by Brandeis University.

Navigating the Road is the first in the series, and where participants make a plan for career advancement. They learn the benefits of working in different environments. This workshop uses a mapping exercise to help participants think through their career pathways. Individual road maps illustrate barriers and accomplishments on their career path from their first job to their target job. They also get information sheets about all healthcare jobs and associated training offered through the Health CareeRx Academy.

The Starting a New Job workshop is designed to help participants understand the basics of their new job in healthcare. They learn to read offer letters, negotiate a salary, scheduling options, payroll, and choosing between multiple job offers. The next step is to learn how an employer’s human resource (HR) department can support career growth. Making Your Employer Work for You covers topics including employer tuition reimbursement for continuing education and how HR can help mediate conflict and unfair situations.

Once participants have around a year of experience in an entry-level healthcare job, they attend the Better Jobs Workshop. It teaches how to search for a better job, how to overcome the fears involved in career advancement, and the mechanics to get that next job while working.

To date, approximately 150 participants have taken at least one Passport to Career Advancement workshop. At the end of the first “Navigating the Road” workshop day, facilitators administer a brief evaluation to participants. Responses to the evaluation’s open-ended question show great enthusiasm for the workshop.

“(Navigating the Road workshop) is hands on and it made me think about my path past/present/future.”

This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Last Reviewed: August 14, 2020