House Bill Strengthens Pathways to Health Care Careers


New legislation would create opportunities for low-income individuals to pursue in-demand health care jobs.

Published oct. 23, 2019

Yesterday the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee approved the Pathways to Health Careers Act (H.R. 3398) and recommended it for consideration by the full House of Representatives. JFF applauds the move because it’s a step toward passage of a bill that would increase opportunities for low-income individuals to obtain jobs in the in-demand field of health care.

The Pathways to Health Careers Act calls for the expansion of the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program to all 50 states. Currently a demonstration program entering its final year, HPOG provides recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low-income individuals with opportunities to pursue education and training for health care jobs.

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HPOG programs employ a career pathways approach in which people participate in skills development and work-based learning experiences while receiving career coaching and other supportive services.

This is a critical issue that we have worked closely with employers and training providers on for more than a decade through initiatives such as Jobs to Careers and New Paths to Professional Nursing.

JFF supports the Pathways to Health Careers Act for its continued support of efforts to train people for careers in health care and for its commitment to career pathways and sector strategies that have shown promise for helping to lift people out of poverty. This is a critical issue that we have worked closely with employers and training providers on for more than a decade through initiatives such as Jobs to Careers and New Paths to Professional Nursing. While many promising models exist around the country, there is still a need for investment that will replicate and scale these models in ways that drive positive outcomes for workers, employers, and patients.

We agree that improved and expanded investments in education and skills development in high-demand fields like health care are key to helping people advance economically. The Pathways to Health Careers Act would go a long way toward achieving this goal by sustaining and scaling the success of HPOG.