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Worksystems, Inc. Abstract

Published: May 19, 2016
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Grants Abstract
Abstracts, HPOG Grantees

Building Pathways to a Brighter Future

Worksystems, Inc.

Health Careers NW

Location: Portland, OR


Five-Year Project Period: September 30, 2015 - September 29, 2020

Annual Award Amount: $2,324,768

Type of Organization: Nonprofit with 501C3 IRS status (other than Institution of Higher Education)

Service Area: Portland, Oregon metropolitan area

Target Population: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals


Number of individuals that will be enrolled in the overall HPOG program: 1,348

Number of TANF recipients that will be enrolled: 405

Number of individual participants that will begin basic skills education: 670

Number of individual participants that will complete basic skills education: 480

Number of participants that will begin any healthcare occupational training: 1,100

Number of participants that will complete any healthcare occupational training: 880

Number of individual participants that will obtain employment in a healthcare occupation: 680


Health Careers NW (HCNW) is a public/private collaboration that prepares participants to enter training for healthcare career pathways, supports them through training completion, and places them in careers that offer family-sustaining employment. Participants explore and choose from among seven career ladders vetted by employers as in-demand, facing shortages, and providing opportunities for advancement: Nursing (CNA, CNA2, Medication Aide, LPN, and RN), Medical Laboratory (Phlebotomist, Medical Lab Technician, and Medical Lab Technologist), Medical Office (Medical Office Clerk/Receptionist, Medical Biller, Medical Records Technician/Coder, and Medical Secretary), Assistive Technology (Durable Medical Equipment Repair), Mental Health (Peer Support Specialist and Substance Abuse Counselor), Dental (Dental Assistant and Dental Hygienist), and Allied Health (Medical Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, Radiologic Technologist, MRI Technologist, Sterile Processing Technologist, Surgical Technologist, Respiratory Therapist, and Pharmacy Technician). HCNW uses a proven sequence of programming that includes career planning and exploration, soft skill development, industry-contextualized basic skill remediation, and secondary credential completion.

Participants receive assistance from a Career Coach, as well as academic preparation and post-secondary access from Academic Navigators. Participants then enter occupational skills training. Once trained, their employment goals are supported by an integrated placement effort, aided by hiring commitments from local employers. Throughout the program, coaches provide access to a variety of supportive services, some grant-funded and others leveraged, including child care, clothing for work, medical care for work, parking, transportation, personal care, professional licenses and certifications, tools, training-related costs, and utilities. Worksystems, Inc. (WSI), the Portland Metro Workforce Development Board, has assembled a stakeholder group that includes 21 healthcare employers, the state and local offices of the Department of Human Services, TANF JOBS contractors, a network of culturally competent community-based organizations, and 2 major community colleges in the region to implement this project. WSI is investigating implementation of a CNA apprenticeship program and has met with major hospital employers that are interested in this effort.


Last Reviewed: April 25, 2019