Throughout April 2022, The Education Fund’s Executive Director, Rebecca Hanson; Tarik Scott, Director of External Relations; Sonya Allen-Smith, one of our trustees and program graduates; Patrice Madu, Director of Education; and Angelynn Avé, Northwest Regional Coordinator presented 2021 organizational outcomes to the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and Healthcare Career Advancement Program (HCAP). In these presentations they shared information and statistics about our thriving High Road Training Projects (HRTP), the summary of our First Steps campaign, share 2022 opportunities for our organization and acknowledge the success of our Apprenticeship programs.

Rebecca Hanson, Tarik Scott and Sonya Allen-Smith present 2021 member results to the California Workforce Development Board on behalf of the Education Fund.

In 2021 alone, the Education Fund served over 27,600 unique learners with 70% of those being women and 70% being workers of color. We also launched fully supported pathway programs for Surgical Tech, Rad Tech, IT, Phlebotomy, MA, CNA, Sterile Processing, Mental Health, RN to BSN, Coding. In 2022 new pathways are being added for LVN and Respiratory. 1,200 members completed degrees, certificates or certifications for a new job in 2021, up 410% from 2020 to 2021, with the number of Black and Latinx learners earning new degrees and certificates up 484% from 2020 to 2021.

Over the last few years our HRTP programs have focused on connecting underrepresented workers to opportunities for advancement, including non-clinical and entry level workers, English language learners, and low-income communities. One way we’re managing this is through our Member2Member program, in which members assist us in reaching out to their peers to help them understand what benefits the Ed Fund provides. This was especially necessary during the early days of the Covid pandemic when our own staff didn’t have access to the facilities we service. Another option is for the Education Fund to leverage our partnerships to support new and regional HRTP projects. Tarik believes that “our partnerships represent a true intersection between equity by targeting underrepresented workers and communities, and job quality by promoting jobs that pay families sustaining wages and competitive benefits”

The Education Fund team also recognized several critical opportunities for 2022 that will allow us to better serve our members, including providing flexible support services, expanding Career Pathways, Apprenticeships, Clinical Placements and paid training time, and adding more opportunities for diverse entry level workers to advance to higher wage positions to fill shortages and job vacancies, connecting with community hire programs for backfill. “With these shortages there is a lot of opportunity for diverse workers to advance, and this allows us to address not only occupational segregation that’s existed but also to reach back and connect into the workforce system and other community-based organizations to create community hire programs for the backfill that will be needed as people move up”, shares Rebecca.

When discussing the Education Fund’s 2022 opportunities, she says, “we really want to take advantage of the moment that we’re in to address the needs that we’re seeing now but also plan for how work is changing in the future and what the workforce of the future needs to continue the career growth that they want. This has the opportunity to support a better delivery of healthcare in our state and in our country.”

About the Education Fund, Sonya says “It’s so phenomenal how our members turn around and have these ‘aha!’ moments when they realize they have the ability to upscale this benefit that a lot of people don’t have if you’re not working in a partnership such as ours, having the Ed Fund be there to guide you, give you the resources, and the counseling.” She goes on to share that she feels “the Ed Fund is a life changing program for our frontline members so they can continue to grow and change.”