Program and service update

November 16, 2022 – We are excited to announce that we will soon be reopening select program applications. We know that many of our members rely on the Education Fund for their CEUs. With the end of the year approaching, we want to make sure you’re able to get your Continuing Education credits at no cost through the Education Fund.

Please check back for updates and an expected opening date for Continuing Education classes offered through providers such as CNA Zone and CE Direct on the Continuing Education section of our site. Our Continuing Education Reimbursement program is available now. We also have select critical skills and preparation courses available, with others opening up in the coming weeks.

The best way to see what’s available is to register for MyEdFund, our secure web portal. This is where all Education Fund program signups happen, so now is the time to get your login set up. MyEdFund is also the place to make an appointment with a Career Counselor/Regional Coordinator, which is a great first step and is required for certain Education Fund programs.

We are thankful for all of our members who have been in contact with us recently. We cannot express the depth of our appreciation for your patience as we’ve continued to work through the challenges and opportunities that have arisen as a result of the unprecedented response and interest in Education Fund programs this year. We look forward to serving you in the coming weeks and months.

Important Update: Education Fund Program Enrollment

September 13, 2022 – The Education Fund has experienced unprecedented interest and enrollments in our programs this year, and we’re proud to have supported so many healthcare workers with their education needs. We have also expanded to serving more than 20,000 learners annually and more than 3,000 in degree and certificate programs to advance their careers.

Since the pandemic, hospitals nationwide have identified an overwhelming need for frontline healthcare professionals. In a recent survey of our membership, we found that 65% of you have considered training into a new job in healthcare. The Education Fund collaborated with training providers to meet the demand of our learners, union and employer partners. None of us could anticipate the overwhelmingly high demand; consequently, we’ve reached our enrollment capacity for 2022 for many of our programs. As a result, we have currently paused Education Fund program applications.

Please be reassured that, regardless of your location, you can create an individualized educational plan for 2023 by making an appointment today with your Career Counselor/Regional Coordinator.

The Education Fund is completing a thorough review of learners already in the application process for programs at capacity. Expect to hear directly from the Education Fund soon regarding your application status. Once we complete our review of our enrollment and its impact on our budget, programs, and services, we will share updates on what will be available as soon as possible.

For now, your Career Counselor/Regional Coordinator is happy to discuss options and create a plan for your future education needs. If you have not yet done so, please register for MyEdFund, our secure web portal, to schedule time with your Career Counselor/Regional Coordinator.

This is also the perfect time to talk to your union and coworkers about securing an increased employer contribution to the Education Fund. The services we offer are helping to address the high turnover and staff shortages brought about by the pandemic. And this year’s unprecedented response, particularly to our Career Pathway opportunities, has demonstrated a need for increased training opportunities.

We are proud of the work you do each day, the extraordinary service you provide to your community, and your drive to better yourself and your family through education. We continue to draw inspiration from your strength and resiliency, and we look forward to continuing to serve you in 2023 and beyond.

New Survey Shows Negative Impacts of Prolonged Pandemic on Healthcare Workers’ Mental Health – More than 50% Questioning Career Path

Findings Raise Urgent Concerns as Healthcare Workers Contend with Another Wave of COVID Hospitalizations

August 8, 2022

OAKLAND, Calif. – A recent survey of roughly 5,000 frontline healthcare workers finds that more than two years of dealing with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic is causing profound negative impacts on workers’ mental health. As the pandemic continues into its third year, the survey raises serious concerns for the workers, their families, their work environments, as well as their willingness to stay in the healthcare field.

The survey, conducted from March – April 2022, found that the negative impact of the pandemic is widespread and affects all healthcare workers, regardless of job title and direct level of involvement with COVID patients. The survey is one of the largest of its kind to focus on the pandemic’s sustained impact on those who work in allied healthcare jobs and provide everything from janitorial, housekeeping, food service, lab work, and administrative support, as well as direct patient care, such as medical assistants, certified nurse assistants, respiratory therapists, social workers, and others. Roughly 80% of the respondents in this survey identified as workers of color.

Overwhelmingly, these healthcare workers report feeling stress (91%), anxiety (83%), exhaustion/burn-out (81%), and being overwhelmed (77%), with impacts on their physical health and their families as well. Those providing administrative and other support such as janitorial and food service registered similar, and in some cases, higher levels of negative feelings and impact on their physical and emotional health as staff who directly provide care for patients.

“Sadly, less than 20% of the healthcare workers who participated in this survey felt they had adequate emotional support,” said Schroeder Stribling, President and CEO of MHA, “These findings underscore the urgent need to invest in accessible, culturally responsive supports and services for those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly as workers continue to face challenges associated with new subvariants.”

Other findings in the survey include:

  • Workers in this survey reported that their most significant work-related stressors were heavy/increased workloads, uncertainty about when things will settle down, and, particularly for Asian, Black, and Latino workers, concern about getting sick themselves.
  • Despite these stresses, workers across all job types report they do not have time or space to process the impact while at work (45%) and are unable to take time off when needed to attend to their own physical or emotional health (55%).
  • More than half of all workers, regardless of job duties, regularly felt sadness. Almost one-third of all workers regularly felt grief, with administrative support staff reporting feelings of grief at higher levels than those who provide direct patient care.
  • While workers reported experiencing negative feelings at very high rates, few workers experienced positive feelings, such as pride (only 8% overall), or hope (less than 18% overall).
  • Despite early applause and shows of appreciation from the public for healthcare workers as heroes, by the end of the second year of the pandemic, 70% of front-line workers felt unappreciated regardless of racial group, job type, or tenure in healthcare.
  • More than half of all workers (52%) questioned their career path in the previous three months, while up to 60% of workers of color have considered leaving healthcare as their profession.

“In addition to concern for workers and their families, this survey clearly tells us that unless we invest in support for all workers involved in delivering healthcare, we will exacerbate the challenges of retaining a qualified and diverse workforce in a field that has long faced a shortage of healthcare workers,” said Rebecca Hanson, Executive Director of The Education Fund.

The full report can be found here:

With generous support from the James Irvine Foundation, the survey was commissioned by The Education Fund and administered by Mental Health America (MHA), in partnership with the Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative (S2i). It augments findings of previous surveys by MHA and others in which most respondents were predominantly degreed medical professionals, such as physicians and nurses.


About Mental Health America: MHA is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all.

About The Education Fund: The SEIU-UHW & Joint Employer Education Fund is a multi-employer labor-management partnership serving 105,000 SEIU healthcare workers across 20 employers and six states to advance their careers through innovative education and training solutions.

About The Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative: S2i is a national organization catalyzing change to ensure that all people with mental health conditions can live the fullest possible lives, and that public and private resources are equitably devoted to that end. It centers its work on the authentic leadership of people with lived experience and racial equity.

For more info, contact: Keith Mitchell at the Education Fund at or 510.250.6853


The SEIU-UHW West & Joint Employer Education Fund relaunches updated pandemic-readiness training

January 27, 2021

Oakland, CA – The SEIU-UHW West & Joint Employer Education Fund (the Education Fund) – a multi-employer benefit trust providing education and training for union-represented healthcare employees – today announced it is launching an updated version of the online course Pandemic Readiness for frontline healthcare workers. The course now reflects information gained about COVID-19 through experiences of the past several months, as well as information related to vaccination.

The course relaunch is made possible through the collaborative effort of the Education Fund, Pima Medical Institute, Futuro Health, Kaiser Permanente, and SEIU-UHW, and follows the Spring 2020 launch of the original version. All employees who are eligible to receive Education Fund benefits may take the course at no cost, regardless of job classification or location.

The winter pandemic surge has underscored California’s ongoing critical need for workers to provide care, including LVNs/LPNs, respiratory therapists, medical assistants and certified nursing assistants. The Pandemic Readiness course provides these workers an opportunity to refresh their knowledge with the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and treatment, while providing interested non-patient care workers with helpful tools and information related to the virus.

“The vaccine is here, so we have updated our training to ensure that caregivers have the critical information they need moving forward,” said Rebecca Hanson, Executive Director of the Education Fund. “Caregivers need our support now more than ever, and we will continue to find ways to get them the education and training they need to sustain themselves through the pandemic.”

The five-module pandemic readiness course, designed by Pima Medical and conducted entirely online, will take approximately six hours to complete. The modules cover topics including screening and testing, infection control techniques and precautions, ventilator management, stress management and resilience, and immunity and vaccines. Designed to be self-paced, the course can help prepare patient care workers to perform additional functions on the care team in preparation for a temporary expansion in their scope of work.

“Our ability to rise to the challenge and win the war against COVID-19 requires extraordinary coordination between healthcare organizations,” said Fred Freedman, CEO of Pima Medical. “The creation of proper training materials and procedures for our frontline professionals is a critical component. Pima Medical along with the Education Fund is proud to be part of the national solution.”

The Education Fund will offer digital badges upon successful completion of online coursework and accompanying competency assessments. The course augments and fortifies existing skillsets of healthcare workers amidst the COVID-19 environment, especially for those entities that may not have the resources to create their own training programs to upskill staff. This revised version will build on the 1,300 Education Fund-eligible union members who took the initial course, launched by Futuro Health, between April and October 2020.

“We are pleased our ecosystem of partners continue to keep the training relevant and free for the needs of the times,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, CEO of Futuro Health. “Skillsets continue to shift during this unprecedented crisis.”

About The Education Fund: The SEIU-UHW & Joint Employer Education Fund is a multi-employer labor-management partnership serving 105,000 SEIU healthcare workers across 16 employers and 5 states to advance their careers through innovative education and training solutions.

About Pima Medical Institute: Founded in Tucson in 1972, Pima Medical has built a reputation as one of the best medical career colleges in the Western United States. Pima Medical’s mission is to improve the quality of people’s lives by providing the best value in medical career education. Pima Medical offers certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs – all in the healthcare field. It also has a robust online learning division. Programs focus on medical, dental and veterinary careers.

About Futuro Health: Futuro Health improves the health and wealth of communities by growing the largest network of credentialed allied health workers in the nation starting in California. We believe investing in education and skills training and retraining results in better-paying jobs for workers, better service for patients and better workers for employers to hire. Kaiser Permanente and Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) partnered to establish Futuro Health in January 2020 with a $130 million commitment.

About Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW): SEIU-UHW is a healthcare justice union of more than 97,000 healthcare workers, patients and healthcare consumers united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers.