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HPOG Promising Practice: Zepf Center, Education, Training, and Support Services

Published: September 5, 2019
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Technical Assistance

The entrance to Zepf CenterToledo, OH

Guaranteed job interviews help incentivize healthcare job seekers to improve their soft skills in Northwest Ohio.

The Northwest Ohio Pathway to Healthcare Careers (NOPHC) program empowers low-income individuals to obtain education and training needed for the healthcare field. NOPHC training and support is administered by NetWORK, a workforce division of Toledo’s Zepf Center.

In developing their program, NetWORK wanted to understand the problems faced by healthcare employers and job seekers. They established an Employer Advisory Group to forge relationships with healthcare employers and identify issues and barriers on both sides of the hiring equation. Chief among their findings was a realization that a significant number of potential employees lacked critical soft skills necessary in the workplace.

Healthcare employers cited significant barriers to success on the job, including candidates not showing up for interviews or responding to emails, arriving late for appointments, inappropriate use of cell phones, improper attire, and a distinct lack of social and communication skills. After consulting with the Lucas County Workforce Development Board, NetWORK realized this was an issue across many other industry sectors as well.

NetWORK researched available training programs and decided to implement The Center for Work Ethic Development’s Bring Your “A” Game curriculum. This program addresses seven behaviors desired by managers: attendance, appearance, attitude, ambition, acceptance, accountability, and appreciation. NetWORK sent both their Business Outreach Coordinator and Account Representative to become certified trainers capable of administering the workshop to NetWORK participants in Ohio.

To encourage attendance in the workshop, participating employers agreed to guarantee interviews to all students who completed the course. Thirteen participants attended the first event, 8 completed an interview, culminating in 3 employment offers.

The successful implementation of the initial Bring Your “A” Game session caught the attention of ProMedica, Lucas County’s largest healthcare employer, who said they observed a noticeable difference in potential candidates who had and had not attended the workshop. Many employers continue to offer guaranteed interviews to workshop participants, resulting in increased employment and job retention.

Incentivizing participants to strengthen vital soft skills with guaranteed interviews created job seekers who were better prepared to enter the healthcare workforce.

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

Last Reviewed: September 5, 2019