Marin Health Workforce Initiative

Creating More Equitable Pathways to Well-Paying Health Care Jobs in Marin County

Practice Area: Economic Mobility Scope: County Location: CA Status: Closed

Project Overview

Third Sector is facilitating a design process with the Healthy Marin Partnership (HMP), a collaborative of Marin Country health care stakeholders, and training partners to develop an action plan for workforce system improvements. Through this initiative, the HMP and training partners will investigate challenges in achieving well-paying health care jobs and design solutions in collaboration with jobseekers and workers.

Everyone should have the opportunity to have a job or career that pays them a wage that helps them support their families. But today, there are too many people who don't have access to these kinds of job opportunities because some government officials and employers have created and maintained barriers based on what we look like, where we live, or how much money our parents may have. As a result of these barriers and regulations, industries like health care often need help finding enough workers to fill open jobs. Under- or unemployed workers often don’t know where to find jobs that feel meaningful and pay living wages.

In Marin County, California, a multi-sector collaborative called the Healthy Marin Partnership (HMP) has been working to connect people to job opportunities and build a more equitable health care sector to ensure that everyone in the county can achieve their dreams. The HMP is a longstanding group of Marin County hospitals and clinics, government agencies, and community organizations dedicated to helping everyone in the county live healthier lives.
Developing responsive and equitable workforce solutions requires engaging the people who often do not have advantages in the workforce, like people of color and immigrants from Novato, Marin City, West Marin, and the Canal section of San Rafael. In 2023, the HMP launched the Health Workforce Initiative dedicated to improving Marin County residents' ability to obtain well-paying health care jobs. The collaborative selected Third Sector to facilitate a human-centered design process that would ensure that the plan it developed would meaningfully connect all job seekers and those who want to advance in their careers to well-paying jobs and generate greater diversity and cultural responsiveness in the health care system. 

The collaborative began by exploring system challenges in recruiting, training, and retaining workers in nursing, medical assistance and management, and case management positions in physical and behavioral health. Third Sector convened 90+ individuals across 19 organizations to identify challenges that prevent Marin residents from accessing quality health care careers. 

Following that,initiative members identified two system-level priority strategies that they felt would strengthen the talent pipeline aligned with the Good Jobs Principles from the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor:

  • Recruitment: Employers will work with training providers to engage K-12 students in health care career education via shadowing, training, or pre-apprenticeship opportunities. 
  • Career Advancement: For entry-level positions within priority occupations, assess availability and consistency of advancement opportunities and pilot processes to facilitate pathways where gaps exist.
With Third Sector’s support, the collaborative developed a multi-year action plan outlining the activities, roles, and dependencies required to implement the two strategies. The collaborative is now taking its first steps to deliver on the action plan, gathering the funding, resources, and cross-sector support required to make system-wide changes.

By early 2024, the collaborative hopes to secure the resources needed to sustain the next phase of work, toward the ultimate goal of improving the access, quality, and mobility of health care jobs in Marin. It is likely that the Marin County Office of Education and Marin County Health and Human Services will play a leading role in defining a collaborative approach to implement the action plan—together with workers, trainers, hospital and health care providers, community organizations, and the HMP.
Practice area:

Economic Mobility

Third Sector works with communities and our government agencies to reimagine basic needs, education, and training supports and that help people find the careers and lives of their dreams.
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Practice Area Managing Director, Economic Mobility