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  • Center for Healthcare Careers

Milwaukee Employer Coalition Launches Healthcare Workforce Development Project

MILWAUKEE – April 27, 2016 – Five of southeastern Wisconsin’s largest healthcare employers, including Froedtert Health, Aurora Health Care, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, and Columbia St. Mary’s, have formed an alliance in collaboration with Employ Milwaukee to work together to ensure a robust workforce for in-demand healthcare occupations.

The Center for Healthcare Careers of Southeastern Wisconsin, an innovative and collaborative model for developing a diverse sustainable workforce for employers across the healthcare industry, formally launched today at the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Ruehlow Nursing Complex.

“We are united around a shared, urgent need for a skilled healthcare workforce,” said Keith Allen, Chief Human Resources Officer, Froedtert Health and Founder of the Center for Healthcare Careers. “Innovation and collaboration are needed now to develop and sustain a diverse and capable workforce to meet the challenges of rising demand for health care services. The Center for Healthcare Careers will focus on preparing people for a wide range of jobs including nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians, nurses and physical therapists and more.”  

Healthcare employment is projected to grow at a rate of 16 percent over the next 10 years, outstripping manufacturing as the largest employment sector in the manufacturing-heavy Midwest. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, nearly 450,000 workers will be needed by 2022 to meet employment demands in the state.

 “The Center for Healthcare Careers’ model for addressing labor market demand in the growing healthcare industry will further propel Milwaukee into the national spotlight as a leader in workforce,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “This collaboration provides tremendous opportunity for Milwaukee residents to become introduced to, or advance in, careers in healthcare.”

Employ Milwaukee, the workforce development board serving Milwaukee County, is the integration organization of the Center for Healthcare Careers and serves as the coordinating entity for the partners. Employ Milwaukee provides infrastructure support and project management.

“We fully support the Center for Healthcare Careers as a highly developed consortium working to proactively address workforce needs in the healthcare industry,” said Earl Buford, President and CEO, Employ Milwaukee. “This collaborative sector strategy is bringing together healthcare employers, workforce partners, government, and community partners, all working toward the same goal of a sustainable workforce.”    The Center for Healthcare Careers is overseen by a Governing Board of Directors with Employ Milwaukee serving as the integration organization. Working collaboratively, the group supports the mission, vision and strategic goals of the Center for Healthcare Careers by bringing together key partners representing education, government, funders, community-based organizations and employers.  “Aurora Health Care is dedicated to providing high-quality health care to all our patients, and we can only succeed if we find and hire the right people to be caregivers,” said Amy Rislov, Chief Human Resources Officer, Aurora Health Care, and Vice Chairperson of the Center for Healthcare Careers. “We need people from diverse backgrounds who bring not only the required degree and technological knowledge, but also the right ‘soft skills.’ We’re pleased to be part of the Center for Healthcare Careers in building a pipeline of trained, motivated caregivers.”

Five founding regional healthcare employers made an initial collective investment of $400,000, and provided human capital, to create the Center for Healthcare Careers. Additionally, the Center for Healthcare Careers received support from JPMorgan Chase. Chase works with community partners to create pathways to opportunity through effective workforce development programs that strengthen the communities they serve. A $50,000 grant was awarded to support the efforts of the Center for Healthcare Careers workforce partnership.

“The labor market is increasingly demanding a more skilled workforce, but not necessarily just those with four-year degrees,” said Jim Popp, head of Chase in Wisconsin. “Chase is supporting the work of Center for Healthcare Careers because it provides a pathway for individuals to good paying, livable wage jobs.  This is critical to the strength and stability of our communities and economy.”

The mission of the Center for Healthcare Careers is to unite all appropriate stakeholders in a viable, flexible structure to locate, educate and support a workforce from service to professional levels in the healthcare industry in southeastern Wisconsin, with a vision to create a supply of fully skilled and capable individuals prepared to meet the current and future needs of the healthcare field. For more information, go to

About MSOE’s Ruehlow Nursing Complex

MSOE's Ruehlow Nursing Complex is a $3 million, 25,000 square-foot suite of nursing labs that provides four simulation rooms of pediatric, birthing, acute and chronic conditions and patients with acute illnesses. This facility was named for its major supporter, MSOE Regent Kathleen Ruehlow, an MSOE alumna of the Milwaukee County General Hospital School of Nursing (CHGHSN). MCGHSN merged into MSOE in 1995.

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