HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT REPORT AND PLAN RELEASED BY MAT-SU HEALTH FOUNDATION

December 17, 2018

Wasilla, Alaska – The Mat-Su Health Foundation (MSHF) has released a new report focusing on health and human services workforce development. Among the report’s findings are that Mat-Su jobs in the health and human services sector grew 4.7 percent annually over the last 10 years, increasing from 2,692 jobs to more than 4,000 jobs. More growth is expected as Mat-Su’s population continues to explode; the Borough has 104,166 residents today and it is estimated to increase to 167,500 people by 2045.

“Workforce development has become an increasingly important part of the Mat-Su Health Foundation’s work,” said MSHF CEO Elizabeth Ripley. “As we looked to the future, we asked ourselves, who will care for us? Will there be enough trained professionals to meet our future health care needs? We brought partners together to help answer those questions, and this report and plan are the result of that collaboration.”

Health and human services is already the largest employment sector in Mat-Su making up 17.5 percent of total employment. In the next 10 years, the majority of new Mat-Su job openings will be for nurses (150 jobs), behavioral health workers (98 jobs), and paraprofessionals including medical assistants, home health aides, dental assistant, personal care aides, childcare works, and administrative staff (378 jobs).

The report was produced by the McDowell Group following an extensive engagement and planning process that included key stakeholders in health and social services workforce development in Mat-Su. The project’s steering committee included representatives of Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, Mat-Su College, University of Alaska Anchorage, the Mat-Su Borough School District, Alaska Native tribes, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, the Mat-Su Borough, and health and human services employers.

These partners and others will work together to accomplish four goals identified through the planning process to ensure that Mat-Su has the health and human services workforce it needs:

  • Improve strategic communications and feedback within and between partners.
  • Enhance educational attainment and competencies for Mat-Su residents.
  • Enable current and future employment readiness to anticipate and meet employment and education needs.
  • Improve Mat-Su’s reputation for employment, learning, and quality of life.

The entire report titled “The Mat-Su Workforce Development Assessment and Plan” is available on the foundation’s website at healthymatsu.org.

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About MSHF: Mat-Su Health Foundation is the official business name of Valley Hospital Association, Inc., which shares ownership in Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.In this capacity, the foundation actively participates in the governance of Mat-Su’s community hospital and protects the community’s interest in this important health care asset through board oversight.The MSHF invests its assets into charitable works that improve the health and wellness of Alaskans living in the Mat-Su. More information is available at www.healthymatsu.org.