Pathway to the Future: How Workforce Development and Quality Jobs Can Promote Quality Care Conference Package. Healthcare Partnerships in Northern Indiana


Juan Manigault, M.S.B.A.
Northern Indiana Workforce Investment Board


  • Workforce Investment Board
  • Workforce Issues
  • Healthcare Career Ladder Project
  • Healthcare Coalition Project
  • Summary


  • Four county region, which includes Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph Counties in north central Indiana with a population of 576,780. Growing Hispanic population throughout region at 6.79% of total population.
  • Educational center with 13 colleges and universities including the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University South Bend and Ivy Tech State College.
  • Regional healthcare center with over 2,000 healthcare providers from four major hospital systems to direct care providers. Includes 22 long-term health care providers.
  • Diverse mix of industry including: health services, transportation, pharmaceuticals, recreational vehicles/manufactured housing, orthopaedic instrumentation, food services and financial services.


  • The federal Workforce Investment Act, requires the establishment of local workforce investment boards, organized around local labor market areas. There are approximately 650 workforce boards in the country.
  • The Northern Indiana Workforce Investment Board is comprised of 50 members with a business majority, plus education, organized labor, government, community-organizations and economic development entities.
  • Appointed by Local Elected Officials and certified by the Governor.
  • $5+ million direct budget from federal, state, local sources and fees.
  • Indirectly impacts a minimum regional budget of over $15 million from partner organizations through policy and oversight.


  • Assist in the development and growth of the regional economy through strategic planning initiatives, labor market information and convening partnerships that support economic growth through a rained and adaptable workforce.
  • Support the development of the incumbent workforce by developing employer-driven strategies that support ongoing training and development.
  • Support the development of the emerging (new entrants) workforce by strengthening their academic, career and life skills.
  • Develop systems that support economic growth and workforce development.


To improve the quality of life, raise the standard of living, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the region.


To define needs, identify resources, and broker relationships that impact regional economic sustainability, business growth and the education and training of a quality workforce.


  • The Workforce is changing
    • Baby boomers approaching retirement
    • Labor force shortages critical in non-professional and technical positions
  • Skill and Knowledge requirements are changing
    • Increasing need for computer literacy, communication skills, decision-making and problem solving skills
  • Youth are inadequately prepared for participation in the workforce
    • Youth aspirations aren’t consistent with economy and educational performance
    • Graduation rates are too low in urban school districts


  • RN employment has fallen by 2.4% from 1996 to 2000 in Indiana.
  • Increasing number of RN’s are 50 years of age or older.
  • The average age of long-term care nurses is over 50 years.
  • 15% of RN, 13.2% of LPN and 8.5% of QMA positions are vacant in Indiana. Percentages much higher in the long-term healthcare arena.
  • The expansion of career opportunities for young people, and particularly women, has reduced the number of individuals pursuing nursing careers since 1983.
  • The average age of nurse educators is beginning to exceed age 50.


  • Identify healthcare occupations in demand
    • Conduct county focus groups with healthcare providers
    • Conduct one-to-one interviews with primary healthcare providers
    • Identify common skill sets (WorkKeys) needed for entry level positions
    • Determine specific occupations for career ladder development
    • Identify and recruit career ladder employer partners
  • Identify healthcare training programs
    • Conduct focus group with employer partners, education/training providers and One-Stop partners
    • Identify barriers in meeting employer need
    • Identify strategies for eliminating training barriers
  • Develop an employer driven matrix of career opportunities linked to entry level positions that will demonstrate advancement possibilities throughout the employer partner network.
    • Nurses
    • Therapists
    • Technicians
  • Develop matrix of healthcare scholarships, One-Stop training opportunities, on-the-job training and/or employer-paid training opportunities for career ladder advancement.
    • Employer educational advancement programs
    • State training grants
    • WorkOne career scholarships
    • On-the-job training opportunities
    • Post-secondary scholarships
  • Engage WIB Youth Council in development of plan to communicate healthcare needs, skill requirements and training opportunities to the emerging workforce.


  • Regional Skill Alliances, involving 3 or more employers, are encouraged by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development to support common skills training.
  • Workforce Investment Boards are responsible for forming these Alliances, and may apply for up to $200,000 in training grants to support training activities of participating companies. 10% is reserved for administration with the balance reserved for training costs only.
  • Requirements include employer match, which may involve training on company time, and a recognized credential.
  • Grants are for one year with the possibility of a no-cost one year extension.
  • Initial meeting included representatives from the Workforce Board, Indiana Health Care Association, Ivy Tech State College, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
  • Basic elements for the training program were agreed to and included:
    • Apply for three $200,000 grants for St. Joseph County, Elkhart County, and Kosciusko/Marshall Counties.
    • Stagger implementation to coincide with semester enrollment opportunities.
    • Workforce Board will write grants, serve as grant recipient and intermediary, and file all reports.
    • Training program will incorporate elements of the Workforce Board career ladder approach for nursing occupations
    • Indiana Health Care Association will coordinate activities with member institutions in each county, including an initial orientation meeting.
    • Ivy Tech State College and Indiana University South Bend will serve as the primary training institutions for the program.
  • Project Guidelines:
    • All participating individuals are incumbent workers at participating long-term health providers.
    • Training program allows dietary, maintenance, and janitorial workers with the basic skills and aptitudes to apply for the program at the CNA/QMA, LPN or ASN level.
    • Existing nurses may apply to pursue the appropriate LPN to ASN, ASN to BSN, or BSN to MSN program.
    • Companies will allow for training on company and use wages and fringe benefits as an allowable match, plus pay for books and travel expenses.
    • Upon successful completion and the awarding of the appropriate credential, individuals will be promoted and receive increases in pay.
  • Training Outcomes:
    • 15 certified as QMAs, which includes CNA designation
    • 19 certified as LPNs
    • 12 receive the ASN degree and are eligible to take the state exam to become RNS
    • 2 receive the BSN degree
    • 2 receive the MSN degree
  • Total grant of $208,000, plus matching funds of $211,000.
  • Program begins with the summer semester.
  • Next Steps
    • Submit grant application for 2nd County in June for implementation in August.
    • Submit grant application for remaining counties in November for implementation in January.


  • Workforce Boards can:
    • Develop partnerships
    • Convene partnership meetings
    • Develop strategic approaches
    • Seek resources
    • Manage grant relationships

From The Northbound Train, Karl Albrecht

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