Programs that Upskill Workers Attract and Retain Talent

When faced with workforce shortages, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, a nonprofit academic health system serving northern New England, saw an opportunity to build infrastructure to upskill current workers and attract and retain talented residents, thereby also investing in their community. With a focus on frontline staffing, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Workforce Readiness Institute established a licensed career school with the New Hampshire Department of Education. The school boasts nine distinct program tracks, some using the “earn-while-you-learn” registered apprenticeship structure of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The National Fund’s CareerSTAT healthcare employer network has identified recruitment from the local community as a key best practice for developing and supporting the frontline workforce. Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s institute programs are open to the public and promoted widely throughout the community. By investing in local residents, Dartmouth-Hitchcock better establishes their credibility and builds loyalty within the community. The health system has worked with several youth programs in high school, vocational, and community programs; where there’s the opportunity to attract young people to careers in healthcare.

The investment is paying off—more than 350 people have been trained and hired for career entry and advancement in vital medical roles. Ninety percent of program participants obtained a portable, national or industry-recognized credential that has allowed them to earn two to three times the New Hampshire minimum wage and receive full benefits.

To address our workforce challenges, Dartmouth-Hitchcock is delivering programs and registered apprenticeships through our Workforce Readiness Institute that empower us to think creatively about how to identify, attract and to train new sources of talent. We believe that these programs are an investment in our Dartmouth-Hitchcock family, as well as in our community.

– Joanne Conroy, MD President, and CEO Dartmouth-Hitchcock

CareerSTAT’s Frontline Healthcare Worker Champion program recognizes healthcare organizations investing in the careers and skills of their frontline workers. Organizations are designated as Champions and Emerging Champions. Champions meet all of CareerSTAT’s recognition criteria, including making skill and career development accessible, offering programs at a significant scale, measuring program business impact, and building sustainable programs. Emerging Champions are in earlier stages of investment and working with CareerSTAT leaderships to strengthen their programs. Learn more at

This blog is a part of a series highlighting the 2018 CareerSTAT Frontline Worker Champions. See our other blogs featuring Champion organizations: Staten Island Performing Provider System, Loretto,  Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health CentersEast Alabama Medical Center, District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, and Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System.