© 2022 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Mills rolls out a new initiative to recruit and retain healthcare workers

Virus Outbreak US Surge
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2020, file photo, a health care worker wears personal protective equipment as she speaks to a patient at a mobile testing location for COVID-19 in Auburn, Maine. Doctors and nurses around the U.S. are becoming exhausted and demoralized as they struggle to cope with a record-breaking surge of COVID-19 patients that is swamping hospitals and prompting governors to clamp back down to contain the virus.

As the healthcare sector in Maine faces a shortage of workers made even worse by the pandemic, the Mills Administration is rolling out a new initiative designed to recruit and retain workers.

Employers and individuals can go to a new website called Healthcare Training for ME to find educational opportunities and to apply for tuition assistance.

"Obviously training is key for helping for folks to feel engaged in their work, and part of this program will also help delineate career pathways, what we call career ladders," said Angela Westhoff, president and CEO of the Maine Health Care, which represents long term care facilities.

Training will help workers to advance their training and pay, said Westhoff. The Healthcare Training for ME initiative is supported by $21 million from the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, and is a partnership of several state agencies, including the Departments of Labor, Health, and Education.