Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program provides education and training to TANF recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the health care field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand.
Grantee organizations define “other low-income individuals” and have proposed serving a wide range of participants including: individuals without a high school diploma or GED, incumbent workers, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, and disadvantaged and at risk youth.
Grant awards have been made to 32 entities located across 23 states. There were two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA). Of those organizations that were eligible for the first FOA, 27 awards were made. These awards were given to four state entities, nine local workforce investment boards (three of whom are also WIA One-Stop operators), 12 institutions of higher education (consisting of 1 university, 10 community colleges and 1 community college district), and 2 community based organizations. This FOA can be found at the link below:
The other FOA limited eligible applicants to Indian tribes and tribal organizations. For that FOA, five awards were made to tribal applicants, including 1 tribal council and 4 tribal colleges. This FOA can be found at the link below:
Education and Training Programs
Program participants enroll in a variety of training and education programs that result in an employer or industry recognized certificate or degree. Training programs will take place in a variety of settings and formats. Some training prgrams will take place in traditional classroom settings, some will take place in workplace settings, and still others will incorporate distance learning strategies. Some education programs will enroll students in cohorts to create a supportive peer environment for learning. Some training programs have been designed as career ladder programs so that there are multiple entry and exit points between employment and more advanced training.
Training programs include those for: nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, and medical assistants, among others.
All grantees are offering multiple supportive services, including financial aid, child care, and case management to encourage participants’ successful completion of training.
They are using grant funds for many of the supportive services, are leveraging non-grant resources for others and in some cases are using a combination of funds.
Consultation and Coordination
All grantees are required to coordinate with:
o State agency responsible for administering the State TANF program
o Local workforce investment board
o State workforce investment board
o State apprenticeship agency
There are several ways in which the grantees coordinate with these required partners. For example, grantees have planned to coordinate with TANF agencies through formalized agreements (i.e., memoranda of understanding), by forming advisory groups to include a TANF representative, working with TANF agencies for outreach, recruitment and referrals, and leveraging existing TANF resources with other grant funds.