young african american girl interviewing for at the healthcare hiring fair

As Real World Learning has reached new levels of action and coordination in districts across Kansas City, some industries are finding themselves well-positioned to organize for action.

2023 found many hospitals and health organizations stretched thin for entry level talent and further exploration uncovered low enrollment in training programs for critical roles. With many paths to quality jobs to and through their organizations they began to work in a collaborative and holistic way to address their talent needs.   Below is a summary of some 2023 activities and future plans for 2024.

2023 Progress

Nine unique healthcare employers ranging from startups like Digital Health KC and Diversity Telehealth to large hospital systems like Children’s Mercy Hospital offered a total of 29 positions.

Northland Career Center speaker series: Children’s Mercy Hospital, Liberty Hospital and others participated in a month of speakers around careers in healthcare.

CEO Roundtable Presentation: Annual strategy meeting for KC Area CEOs to share vision and progress of Real World Learning and the power of coordination in tackling urgent talent needs

Accelerated Nursing Program Pilot: Program advising and pilot planning for building stronger bridges that connect students ready to start, in high school, training programs for faster tracks to starting their careers.

Careers in Healthcare Job Fair for Graduating Seniors:
This fair targeted graduating seniors, especially those with healthcare certifications or coursework. It allowed students to meet with healthcare organizations and educational institutions to chart their next steps. Healthcare organizations highlighted their support for education through sponsorship, scholarships, tuition programs, and earn-while-you-learn programs. Held on May 17, 2023.

Hidden Careers in Healthcare Teacher Externship Days:
To broaden awareness of the variety of careers in healthcare (beyond doctors and nurses), KCMHC and RWL joined together to sponsor two teacher externship days with the theme of “Hidden Careers in Healthcare.” After a morning reviewing the highlighted careers (10 of the most needed careers in the metro area right now), teachers were given an immersive experience with a 2-hour job shadow of one of the highlighted careers. Held on October 6 and October 13, 2023.

Comments From Teachers:

  • I enjoyed the afternoon session as the professional that I was with did a really nice job of talking about both the good and bad of their responsibilities. She took the time to show all the different areas and possibilities that were available within her department setting and had us speak to many of those working that day.
  • I really enjoyed the whole day. The seatwork in the morning was just the perfect amount, and the externship was amazing. I really enjoyed every bit of it.
  • There was new material and information in the presentations that I did not have previously. I also really appreciated my externship with the social worker at Advent Health. It was a completely different perspective from the social worker’s perspective in the field of education.

Dates & Activities for 2024

Goal: Increase student and healthcare participation and match additional students with their next steps in healthcare.

Goal: Increase the number of teachers reached.

Goal: Bring middle and high school students into a hands-on environment to explore healthcare careers with a career interviewing and planning component for high school students.

Special Thanks to Sunflower Talent Strategies