In November 2015, the Department of Higher Education issued the second RFP's to address the training and education needs of the direct care workforce. This second-round of grant funding called for proposals from a consortia of Massachusetts public higher education institutions, working in collaboration with employers, regional vocational schools, regional workforce investment boards and other community-based organizations, to address the workforce development needs of health care employers.
Project proposals must have articulated the conditions necessary for regional or statewide implementation and replication, and the sharing of best practices and sustainability. Campuses that applied for funding must have addressed how they would take to scale initiatives that will advance the Commonwealth’s direct care workforce in one or more of the following areas:
The proposal recommended for award was submitted by a consortia lead by UMass Medical School (UMMS), in the amount of $199,999.69. The partners consist of:
The goal of this consortium-based project is to promote the sharing of resources and best practices amongst partners to produce sustainable programs that:
Upon completion of the project, the resulting products will be made available to community colleges statewide, ensuring a training trajectory that aligns with employer expectations and supports the education and career goals of the direct care worker (DCW) across the system.
The grant will be for 18 months and will complete on October 31st, 2017.
In August 2015, the Allied Health Advisory Group issued the first in a series of RFP's to address needs in direct care worker pathways, transferable training to support student progression, sector specific core competency based training, and competency-based leadership training for managers of DCW’s.
The proposal submitted by Worcester State University (WSU) was recommended for funding. It proposed collaboration with UMass Memorial Health Care (UMMHC) and the State Healthcare and Research Employees’ Union (SHARE), for the development of an innovative educational program designed to provide seamless academic and career pathways for direct care workers (DCW’s) to progress in their careers through higher levels of education. WSU planned to incentivize UMMHC employees to participate in the programming by offering credits for prior learning and work experience; a comprehensive suite of support services to promote recruitment, retention and completion, and other methods for progression through the program. WSU requested funds of $59,917 for this work, and planned to leverage $41,022 in other funding sources.
The decision to fund this proposal was based on the following:
The grant was for 15 months and completed on March 31, 2017. Worcester State University submitted its final report on the grant, Building Direct Care Worker Pathways: Final Project Implementation Report, in July 2017.