California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced a $32 million public-private partnership with state educators aimed at boosting the number of healthcare support workers, whose ranks are far thinner than national averages.
Called the Allied Health Initiative, the partnership is intended to increase the numbers of workers that directly support physicians or nursesoccupations like pharmacists, medical lab technologists, and radiation technologists. California is estimated to have less than 75% of the per capita national average number of each of those job areas.
The state is supplying $16 million to the partnership, including $8 million from Californias slice of funding in the stimulus bill. The rest of the funding for the partnership comes from financial or in-kind contributions from several organizations: the California Community Colleges System, the University of California and California State University systems, and the California Hospital Association.
The initiative is being led by the state Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and will begin this fall when 25 community colleges will enroll an additional 700 allied health workers in classes. The agency estimates that the state will need to educate more than 206,000 additional healthcare professionals in the next six years.