Southern North Carolina Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership (based at Southern Regional Area Health Education Center)
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Primary Industry Sector:
Type of Organization:
“I believe that sector work is an effective, creative approach to responding to the rapidly changing needs of a modern workforce. It is quickly evolving into the preferred way to do business in meeting workforce needs. I want to invest in the future and be part of that transformation.”
Organizational Mission: The SNCAHRSP is a seven-county regional partnership dedicated to developing a vibrant allied health workforce through creative and appropriate programs and services that meet the needs of future and current allied health practitioners and employers, while ensuring all work is conducted with respect and a spirit of cooperation.
Interest in Sector Work: Our sector initiative, the Southern North Carolina Allied Health Regional Skills Partnership, began in October 2007 under the leadership of Southern Regional Area Health Education (AHEC). AHECs exist to improve the quality and distribution of the healthcare workforce, so the spirit of sector work seemed like a good fit and a natural alignment with AHEC's mission. We started with a 15- month grant-funded planning period to research in our industry (Allied Health) and form our partnership of employers, schools, workforce and economic development agencies, and other stakeholders in the region. Following our planning we entered into a 2-year implementation of a sector plan.The main issue that our partnership addresses is filling the staggering shortages in skilled Allied Health professions in our large, mostly rural region of southeastern North Carolina. Our state has seen record numbers of layoffs in the manufacturing and textile industries over the past few years and our partnership strives to help unemployed/incumbent workers in our region to prepare for and find work in the stable and growing healthcare industry. Our major accomplishments to date include the establishment of new career models for Allied Health professions, as well as the creation of a new Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program in our region and consortia agreements between community colleges to share the existing Physical Therapy Assistant degree program. Over the coming year, we anticipate shifting our work to researching new disciplines/professions and selecting one or more to target for intervention. Early discussions indicate a strong need among employers for medical coders with skills in inpatient coding. Our current training programs in the region do not meet those needs.