Recent Forum and related activities include:

- Conclusion of the $4.9 million 3.5 year Health Care Sector Grant to the Maine Department of Labor to increase the supply and employment of credentialed health care workers in high-demand occupations. As of June 30, 2013, the end of the grant, the overall target of training 400 people had been greatly surpassed, with 1035 trainees enrolled under the grantor 259% of the original goal. Those trained included: clinical instructors, allied health professionals, associate and bachelor degree nurses, medical interpreters, Certified Nursing Assistants and 6 foreign trained physicians were provided assistance to pursue a Maine license.  

Of those trained:

  • 417 were placed in jobs
  • 876 healthcare credentials were earned
  • $3.50/hour wage increase for incumbent workers who received training
  • $12.14/hour was the average starting wage for those unemployed workers who found jobs, and
  • $4,104,751 in additional resources were leveraged for the grant

For additional information on the results of the Health Care Sector Grant: Preliminary Overview and Summary of Projects Report  2013 Summit Materials

- 2013 Maine Health Workforce Summit was held on June 13, 2013 in Orono with over 130 people attending entitled Collaborative and Innovative Solutions to Meeting the Health Workforce Needs of Employers.  Topics included: an update on Maine's health workforce data, using sector strategies to address workforce needs, federal and state resources for training, career pathways, HIT workforce needs and a presentation on the successful partnerships and collaborations that were fostered unde the Health Care Sector Grant. For videos of presentations and materials go to: 2013 Summit Videos and Presentation Materials

- Working closely with MANA (Maine Association of New Americans), the Forum established a committee to address the needs of foreign trained health professionals seeking to pursue their health careers in Maine. The focus of this group has been expanded beyond just health careers to include all foreign trained skilled professionals, and with support from the Maine Legislature for a pilot project, Portland Adult Education will be taking the lead on organizing and moving this work forward.

- Offered legislation to the Legislature's Joint Select Committee on Maine's Workforce and Economic Future to establish industry partnerships as an approach to workforce development in Maine Law.  This legislation was approved as part of the final budget.  Maine Industry Partnerships Legislation 

-Conducted a case study analysis of career pathways in Maine and researched and recommended to Forum members the best methods for the development and implementation of career pathways. Career Pathway Assessment Final Report

- Linked to and helped support other workforce initiatives around the state such as nursing, HIT, oral health, public health, long term care, rural health, health workforce data, and foreign trained health professionals.

- Monitored and notified Forum members and facilitated discussions about health care workforce-related grants and funding opportunities.

- Fulfilled legislative mandate for 2011, 2012 and 2013 to hold annual forums and review latest workforce data and prepared and submitted annual reports to DHHS to be posted on DHHS website (22 MRSA § 256 – 257). 2011 Report     2012 Report     2013 Report

- A series of regional meetings were held around the state in the fall of 2012 that provided an opportunity to meet and network on a regional basis, and which allowed participants to develop strategies for addressing their specifc regional health workforce needs.  Maine Health Workforce Forum Fall 2012 Regional Meetings - Summary and Highlights

- The Forum’s Recommendation's Guide provided a foundation for the state’s successful application for funds from a HRSA award of a State Health Workforce Planning Grant to the Maine Job’s Council to develop a 10 year health workforce strategic plan. The Maine Health Workforce Strategic Plan was completed at the end of 2011 and will guide the Forum's future work.  Prior to completion of the strategic plan, the State Health Care Workforce Planning Grant Final Report was issued and includes:

  • Analysis of Labor Market information to support the development of health care career pathways
  • Projected high demand areas
  • Existing federal, state and private resources
  • Academic and industry skill standards for credentials and licensure
  • Secondary and postsecondary education and training policies regarding career information and guidance counselling, and
  • Federal and state policies or rules that act as barriers to the development of a coherent strategy and plan to address the barriers.