The Education Fund Annual Report

We are excited to release our Annual Report. This report provides an overview of the Education Fund’s work throughout the course of our most recently completed full year of operations. It highlights our members’ successes, our growth, key outcomes of our work with our participating union and employer partners, our Member2Member program, and more.

We hope you enjoy the report. You can view it by using the document viewer below, or you can view or download it in PDF format.


Education Fund Executive Director speaks at Federal Reserve Webinar on Shifting Perspectives and Expectations on Employment

In early August 2023, The Education Fund’s Executive Director, Rebecca Hanson, was a panelist in a webinar hosted by the Federal Reserve banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia, entitled “Shifting Perspectives and Expectations on Employment.” The webinar focused on the dynamics associated with achieving maximum sustainable employment at a crucial time in our nation’s economy.

Due to the pandemic, the U.S. labor market has undergone profound shifts that we are only beginning to fully appreciate. Hanson spoke on how the Education Fund’s work helps healthcare employees create new employment opportunities for themselves, as well as helping them to earn higher wages and become more financially stable in such a difficult economic climate.

Watch Education Fund Executive Director Rebecca Hanson participate in the webinar “Shifting Perspectives and Expectations on Employment”.

Since 2021 the Education Fund has supported more than 20,000 healthcare workers per year with our training and education programs. We’ve seen a quadrupling of people interested in pursuing different certificate and degree programs, and a real desire to figure out a longer term, more sustainable job and wage.

In the webinar, Hanson shared that “We’ve been able to partner with our employers to assess that for those union members who utilize our programs, they have 50% lower turnover than those who don’t. And a 48% average wage increase for those progressing through skill and certificate training into higher wage jobs. So it has a pretty big impact, and it also impacts the diversity of the patient care workforce. 70% of those we train are workers of color and 80% are women”.

“We’re really focused on offering training for those in nonclinical moving into clinical roles where we see the sharpest shortages and biggest retention issues. We’re supporting degree and certificate programs for clinical roles, and we’re offering skill courses and continuing education that help with retention,” said Hanson.

Watch the video or read the transcript to learn more about how the Education Fund and other organizations are working towards fostering maximum employment.


The Education Fund works to help solve the healthcare staffing crisis

Recently the Education Fund’s Executive Director, Rebecca Hanson and Education Fund member, Teresa Harris spoke to the Portland Business Journal to share how our programs and services help our members move up in their careers while remaining with their employers. After Teresa experienced arthritis in her hands, leaving her unable to perform her work as a Dental Assistant at Kaiser Permanente, she took advantage of her Ed Fund benefits to go back to school. With the Ed Fund’s support – including support for tuition and books to earn an associate’s degree in computer information systems – Teresa was able to become a Medical Coder remaining with Kaiser Permanente.

Read the full story below, or view the PDF.

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 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!

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.