Employee Coaching and Education Benefits for Healthcare Workers Boosted Wages and Reduced Turnover

In collaboration with InsideTrack, the Education Fund is helping frontline healthcare workers access pathways to higher-wage jobs through an employee coaching and education benefits program


OAKLAND, CALIF. (November 21, 2022) — The Education Fund—a partnership between 20 healthcare industry employers and 6 SEIU local unions to provide education and training benefits for over 100,000 eligible healthcare workers— today announced the results of a new case study on the impact of employee coaching and education benefits. Education benefits — paired with one-on-one success coaching — helped allied health workers develop new skills and advance professionally into higher-wage career pathways, while also reducing staff turnover.

“At a time when talent is in critically short supply, investing in the education, development and success of our people is essential for ensuring the quality of patient care and building a highly-skilled, highly-qualified and engaged healthcare workforce,” said Rebecca Hanson, executive director of the Education Fund. “This is a unique example of how employers, organized labor and educators can work together to drive professional advancement opportunities for workers while also meeting the evolving health and employment needs of communities. It’s a win-win-win.”

Nationally, there are more than 5 million allied healthcare professionals, or approximately 60% of the entire healthcare workforce. Demand for credentialed allied health professionals continues to rise. An estimated 2.3 million allied health workers will be needed nationally by 2024. The Education Fund has for years worked to close these workforce gaps, improve patient care and build a stronger healthcare workforce by providing no-cost education, training and career advice to more than 100,000 eligible workers.

Since 2019, the organization has partnered with student success experts from InsideTrack to maximize educational opportunities for learners by providing them with one-on-one coaching and wraparound support they need to complete training programs. During that time, the Education Fund has seen significant improvements in outcomes with its largest employer partner, Kaiser Permanente. Between 2019 and 2021, graduates from its programs more than doubled, driving significant increases in the number of trained and diverse personnel ready to move into crucial healthcare positions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between September 2020 and December 2021, more than 2,050 eligible allied healthcare workers received one-on-one coaching from InsideTrack. Across all Education Fund programs, participants have seen their wages increase by an average of more than $15 per hour, and turnover among Education Fund learners was just 4% — one-fourth of the rate for all employees.

Most recently, the Education Fund tapped InsideTrack to provide coaching as part of a new Medical Assistant (MA) pathway program. Enrollment in the program surpassed its original goal by 140%, and 81% of the healthcare professionals who enrolled completed a certificate program in 2020-21 — setting hundreds of workers on a pathway to highly-skilled and higher-paying careers. According to the case study, 84% of MA participants said coaching helped to improve their overall experience in the program, manage time commitments and motivate them toward their goals.

“Attracting, retaining and developing our allied health workforce has a direct impact on real-world patient care and outcomes — and the ability of health systems to deliver cutting-edge care,” said Kai Drekmeier, co-founder and chief development officer at InsideTrack. “This collaboration is a powerful example of how the right education and training opportunities, coupled with personalized employee support, can help to meet the evolving needs of healthcare workers, employers and communities alike.”

For the second phase of this collaboration, the Education Fund will develop its own in-house employee coaching program with training and support from InsideTrack. Over the next three years, the Education Fund will develop a quality assurance program, create capacity to manage a coaching program and implement a “train-the-trainer” model to sustain the coaching program over time.

To read the entire case study from the Education Fund and InsideTrack, visit InsideTrack.org.

Learn more about the Education Fund’s partnership with Inside Track. – https://www.insidetrack.org/

About the SEIU-UHW West & Joint Employer Education Fund: The Education Fund is a labor management multi-employer training and education fund partnering with 20 healthcare employers and six SEIU local unions to serve 105,000 workers across California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. Our mission is to empower the diverse healthcare workforce to advance in a changing environment through innovative education and training solutions. Our members are frontline caregivers, including respiratory care practitioners, dietary, environmental services and nursing staff who keep patients healthy, and clerical and support staff who keep medical facilities running smoothly. Our partners include some of the largest national healthcare employers and their unions.

About InsideTrack: InsideTrack is passionate about helping all learners achieve their education and career goals through the transformative power of coaching. Since 2001, we’ve served 2.9 million learners, partnering with more than 250 institutions and organizations to directly improve enrollment, persistence, completion and career readiness. Our coaching methodology is evidence-based and research-confirmed, with proven outcomes for every type of learner — from traditional to adult, part-time to full-time, online to in-person — including first-generation students and those who face systemic barriers to postsecondary success. We also work with partners to build internal coaching capacity through staff training and professional services — designed to sustain advances in-house for lasting, scalable impact. InsideTrack is a part of Strada Collaborative, a mission-driven nonprofit. To learn more, visit www.insidetrack.org. and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack and LinkedIn @InsideTrack.

The Education Fund congratulates the first Pacific College LVN cohort class!

Education Fund staff members, Nial Egbun, Implementation Specialist, and Monica Lond-LeBlanc, Career Counselor recently attended the graduation of the first Pacific College LVN cohort class! Originally scheduled to start in early 2020, due to COVID-19 this cohort didn’t start until August 2020. This group of 10 learners experienced many challenges including online classes, participating in clinicals wearing full protective gear, and weekly COVID testing. They persevered through everything to achieve their goal of becoming LVNs. We know this group of dedicated individuals will be joined by many others thanks to our new LVN Pathway. Congratulations on your accomplishment!

Kristy Spencer

Medical Assistant

Kaiser Permanente, Skyline Medical Center

Kristy Spencer is currently a Medical Assistant at Kaiser Permanente Skyline with dreams of moving up in her healthcare career. After she completed her prerequisite courses with the help of the Education Fund’s College Courses program, she heard about the Health Information Management (HIM) program available through Portland Community College and jumped at the chance.

Thanks to the HIM program being offered fully online, she was able to continue going to work and raising her family without disrupting her life too much. The Education Fund’s Wage Replacement program also helped her reduce her work week to 32 hours while maintaining her income. Kristy received constant encouragement and support from the Education Fund throughout her educational journey, including advice on time management and tutoring services if she needed them. Kristy says, “without the support of the Education Fund I would not be where I am today!”

Due to her hard work, dedication, and the support of the Education Fund, Kristy graduated from the HIM program with her Associates Degree. She encourages other members to “check out the Education Fund’s website to see what programs are available and get started! Their team is there to support you along the way and help you complete your goals. I went back to school with a husband, four kids and two dogs – if I can do it, anyone can!”

The Education Fund welcomes Planned Parenthood Southwestern Oregon!

The Education Fund is excited to announce our new partnership with Planned Parenthood Southwestern Oregon.

The Education Fund is an employer-paid benefit offered through a joint partnership between SEIU Local 49 and PPSO – therefore, all services and programs are available to eligible employees at no cost! Whether employees are interested in taking College Courses, speaking to one of our qualified Career Counselors, learning new skills, or more, the Education Fund is ready to support their healthcare career goals.

Congratulations on receiving new educational benefits through the Ed Fund! Welcome aboard! We look forward to supporting PPSO employees’ education journey.

Janet Cordova

Emergency Room Unit Assistant

Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek Medical Center

When Janet Cordova experienced an injury that prevented her from performing her role as an Emergency Room Technician with Kaiser Permanente, she had to quickly figure out her next move. Thanks to the Education Fund’s career resources, she was able to train for the role she performs today, as a Unit Assistant still working in the Emergency Room. Accessing Education Fund resources helped Janet transfer units and complete her AA degree by completing coursework in person and online. She also completed Online Education Preparation courses to advance her skills using required word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software applications. In addition, Janet used the Ed Fund’s Reimbursement Program to maintain her Basic Life Support (BLS) and pediatric emergency response (PEARS) certifications.

Janet describes her job at the Kaiser Permanente, Walnut Creek Medical Center as the “stopwatch” for the ward. As patients arrive for critical care, Janet delegates tasks and performs required functions that include completing necessary legal forms, and arranging for appropriate transportation should patients require acute care at a different facility. For instance, a patient suffering a traumatic brain injury might need to be air-lifted to KP’s neurosurgery Center of Excellence in Redwood City.

In the future, she plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, leveraging the Ed Fund’s Wage Replacement program so she can reduce her work hours while pursuing her degree. “I took the time to learn everything the Ed Fund offers,” Cordova said. “It’s there for us to use. Why wouldn’t we?”