New York Health Employment Coalition will focus on how to best prepare a strong, skilled workforce for the growing health care industry

New York, NY- In response to a rapidly evolving health care system, Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today launched the New York Health Employment Coalition. First proposed during her State of the City address in February, the Speaker stressed the enormous potential for new jobs and careers within the growing health care industry, driven by the aging population and increasing rates of chronic disease. At the same time, The Affordable Care Act and New York State’s Medicaid Redesign reforms are changing health care delivery, and the workforce needs to adapt. By working with City agencies, health care organizations, provider associations, philanthropic groups and unions, the Coalition will focus on how to best prepare a strong, skilled workforce for the most recent developments in the field. Co-chaired by Council Health Committee Chair Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Greater New York Hospital Association President Kenneth Raske, 1199 SEIU’s Training and Employment Funds Executive Director Deborah King and City University of New York Dean of Health Bill Ebenstein, the group convened for the first time today at City Hall.

“Health care is a large and growing sector here in New York City, and there’s going to be a major demand for new, good paying jobs. We need to make sure the City is being responsive to this vital sector as it faces changes from federal and state reforms. The Health Employment Coalition is going to help us get results for New Yorkers,” said Speaker Quinn. “If we get this right, it will mean thousands of new opportunities for working and middle class residents, and more affordable and effective care for all New Yorkers.”

The New York Health Employment Coalition will look at every corner of the health care workforce. Specifically, the Coalition will be charged with examining the biggest challenges and priorities facing the city’s health workforce, along with recommendations for how the City and relevant stakeholders could address those issues through new policies, funding or agency protocol that allows the City to fully support this sector in a comprehensive, coordinated way. Specific priorities include recruiting a diverse and culturally competent workforce; reducing barriers to developing professional career ladders; develop internship opportunities that provide recent graduates with real-world experience and addressing worker shortages in certain professions.

“The New York Health Employment Coalition will help to better prepare health care workers for a changing industry and all New Yorkers will be better for it,” said Health Chair Arroyo. “As Chair of the Council’s Health Committee, I am excited and honored to be a part of such an esteemed group of health care leaders. I thank Speaker Quinn for her visionary plan.”
“The hospital community is committed to helping Speaker Quinn and the City Council address New York City’s significant health care needs by tapping into the City’s vast talent pool. We applaud Speaker Quinn and the Council for taking on this important issue, and look forward to working with them to ensure that we continue to protect and improve health care delivery and better serve our communities,” said Greater New York Hospital Association President Kenneth Raske.

“Healthcare is our second largest employer and plays a crucial role in the quality of life of our city. There are major workforce shortage areas and new jobs emerging that create opportunities to move New Yorkers into the middle class,” said Deborah King, Executive Director of 1199 SEIU’s Training and Employment Funds. “The City Council task force that focuses on job opportunities, career advancement and skill development is crucial to the ongoing success of the industry and the residents of New York. We are delighted to play a role in this endeavor.
“Each year CUNY prepares a large, culturally diverse pool of nurses and other health professionals who are dedicated to providing quality health care services to all New Yorkers. Indeed, the local healthcare industry relies on CUNY to provide a reliable supply of new health professionals as well as career ladder opportunities for licensed practitioners and allied health personnel,” said Dean of Health at City University of New York, Bill Ebenstein.