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Layer 10



Developing commitment within the hierarchy of each employer partner is critical to building effective partnerships. Those that have strong internal commitment from the employer partner at all levels of the organization, particularly the highest levels of leadership, have the best chance of success. Developing this internal commitment requires a conscious effort by the partnership during the planning phase, and needs to continue at intervals throughout a project’s life.

Jobs to Careers programs focused on developing internal commitment to the education, training, and career advancement of frontline health care workers. There were three critical rationales for this focus:

  • Critical vacancies exist in mid-level positions due to occupational growth and replacement need (e.g., due to retirement);
  • Turnover among frontline workforce has an impact on quality of care; and
  • Frontline workers often play an important role in meeting the health care needs of communities that their employers serve.

Organizations considering a work-based learning initiative need to assess the initial level of commitment to frontline workforce development from upper management, middle management, human resource management, and those responsible for staff education (e.g., the nursing or clinical education department). 



Recruiting Frontline Workers

Philadelphia Project: Recruiting workers for work-based learning
Union members involved in the Philadelphia project site of Jobs to Careers explain the importance and the process of winning over workers to the concept of work-based learning:

Developing Internal Commitment

The Jobs to Careers Employer Self-Assessment Tool (interactive tool)
The Jobs to Careers Employer Self-Assessment Tool helps employers assess their readiness for implementing innovations in the area of work-based learning and career pathway initiatives for frontline health care workers. Using this tool, partners can assess their strengths and limitations related to policies, practices, and processes that are likely to contribute to the successful implementation and adoption of such initiatives. After completing the tool, health care organizations may want to address areas identified through their self-assessments to boost the prospects for successfully implementing work-based learning for their frontline workers. This tool was developed by Jennifer Craft Morgan and Bob Konrad of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the evaluation team for Jobs to Careers. (Click here for printable version of this interactive tool.)

ASHHRA Learning Session PowerPoint
In Youngstown, Ohio, Jobs to Careers developed a comprehensive approach to gaining organizational commitment, seeking buy-in from a wide range of stakeholders: senior leadership (the executive team); the board/governance team; middle and frontline managers; staff; and community partners. A key strategy for securing senior leadership buy-in was the development of a return-on-investment plan that would decrease staff turnover in key positions and improve the organization’s bottom line. Involving mid-level managers and supervisors in program design and improvements, and sharing graduates’ success with them, also strengthens commitment.

Mississippi Project: Ensuring internal commitment for work-based learning
Debbie Logan, Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce, explains the strides taken to ensure supervisors would support frontline workers' pursuit of work-based learning to become unit clerks: