Geoff Vercauteren, Director of Workforce Development at Catholic Medical Center’s Network4Health project,
Why did the Forward Fund Advisory Group arrive so quickly on the topic of workforce shortages?
Prior to the pandemic, the healthcare workforce in New Hampshire was already struggling. There were competing pressures on the healthcare industry to find the right people. It has been hard to retain staff when there are more competitive pay rates in neighboring states. Yet, healthcare is the largest industry in New Hampshire and it makes up a significant portion of the state's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Even before the pandemic placed additional pressures on healthcare, the need for a more coordinated effort to grow and develop the workforce was already obvious. Many barriers prevent us from having a more nimble and responsive system. For all of us as workforce development practitioners, the time has come for a coordinated approach. Think about it. In other states, large industries of all kinds have workforce plans, such as manufacturing or construction. We need that for healthcare in New Hampshire as well.