July 29, 2021 | Thought Leadership
Carrie Rose, Workforce Development Advisor – Building A More Diverse, Well-Trained Public Health Workforce,
My name is Carrie Rose. I’m the senior adviser for Workforce Development with the Tracing Health Team.
What Is Workforce Development?
So what we mean by workforce development is taking the time to really see and understand how we can build the capacity of all of our staff. And then to match that with the needs that exist in the public health field, particularly in available jobs and career paths right now.
And why that matters in Tracing Health is that we’ve got this extraordinary group of people who stepped forward who might not have pursued a career in public health, who now have a real interest in it and PHI and Tracing Health have these incredible partnerships that we can align the needs of the public health workforce and the incredible talents of the staff that we have in Tracing Health.
Tracing Health really went about supporting staff by identifying where are the areas that staff want additional resources, being able to be dedicated to growing their own capacity and then creating a structure for them to be able to engage in those resource building opportunities.
Building Pathways Though Professional Development
So, for example, one area that we’re working on is professional development, we’re working on building people’s pathways to professional certification so they can bolster their resumes. We’re giving them plenty of opportunity to practice interviewing, how to do social media presence and job search in a virtual age. We’re doing all sorts of job fairs and panels. We’re making sure people leave with equipment so they can be part of a remote workforce moving forward.
And we’re doing everything in our power to be able to provide resources for people to continue on in classes and other certification programs even after they’re Tracing Health time is done. So what we hope to accomplish with the workforce development plan is pretty bold in some ways.
Vision and Opportunity
What I love about this plan is that most folks do not have the advanced vision to build in workforce development with a job. And here we had this really amazing, unique opportunity where the pandemic provided an opportunity for people to be able to work remotely so we could hire folks and provide them equipment when we might not have been able to employ them geographically if they had had to come to a call center or be part of our work in a geographic location. Here, they could be part of communities and work remotely. So this is going to be the new reality of work moving forward, like we won’t go back to the same world we used to have pre-pandemic where everyone’s in an office.
Future Voices of Public Health
What we hope is that we’ve got a workforce who are going to make their contribution and make their imprint on public health. It needs their voice. It needs their talent. But also they need to have a way to be able to enter into it. So it’s almost like a grow your own program, right, where we were able to attract folks under a unique set of circumstances. And we’re going to be able to help them land in some place that’s going to be even better.
At the end of the day, I want to know that the workforce development plan reflects the needs and voices of our team.