WASHINGTON — June 11, 2020 — National nonprofit Credential Engine today announced a $54,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), designed to address record unemployment and healthcare worker shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used in New York state to identify and map education credentials — with a special emphasis on healthcare training programs — in order to help employers identify workers with the skills and competencies they need to fill open roles. New Yorkers can also use the registry to discover training programs aligned with in-demand careers and professions.
“We reached out to Credential Engine in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to bridge information gaps for employers in search of talent and for citizens ready to learn new healthcare skills and understand who is already virtually offering services,” said Melinda Mack, Executive Director of the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP). “This grant will play a critical role in enabling New Yorkers to understand and navigate programs that offer the skills and training they need to quickly re-enter the workforce, particularly in our most in-demand healthcare fields and beyond.”
The list of programs and their associated competencies will be published to Credential Engine’s online credential library, known as the Credential Registry. Credential Engine will partner with both the Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions and the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals to include their members’ programs in the registry. The Workforce Development Institute and the Business Council of New York State will also partner to both share information and utilize it in service to workers and employers.
“The healthcare industry was facing workforce shortages prior to the coronavirus pandemic, shortages which are now amplified,” said Heather C. Briccetti, President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State. “This project will give jobseekers more clarity in understanding the credentials that lead to good jobs in healthcare where there is a growing demand, providing a much-needed boost to the talent pipeline in the healthcare industry.”
Through the initiative, healthcare licensing information will also be consolidated and made publicly available on the site, along with accreditation and quality assurance data for short-term, online programs. By making these data available in the online registry, career search applications can easily integrate credential information into their platforms.
“The COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the need for better, open data about credentials, the competencies and skills they convey, and how they successfully connect workers and students with employers and jobs,” noted Scott Cheney, Executive Director of Credential Engine. “With millions of people looking to get back to work that doesn’t look exactly like it did at the start of the year, it’s time to improve pathway and navigation tools, and make them as easy to use as other online services.”
This work will provide an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis, while also serving to address a long standing need for rich, open, comparable data about credentials, competencies, outcomes, quality, pathways, and linkages to skill needs of employers. Greater credential transparency infrastructure will reap long term benefits for the businesses and job-seekers of New York.
About Credential Engine
Credential Engine is a nonprofit organization that develops and maintains the technology infrastructure to enable a transparent and connected credential marketplace. The Credential Registry, started in 2016, currently houses over 15,000 credentials and competency frameworks from more than 300 providers — including close to 2,500 healthcare credentials — and includes everything from apprenticeships and certificates to certifications and degrees. The NSF grant will map potentially thousands of new credentials, and will further embed the value of credential and competency transparency to meet labor market needs. Credential Engine is also supported by Lumina Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Walmart, Google, Northrop Grumman Foundation, Microsoft Philanthropies, the Siegel Family Endowment, and the ECMC Foundation.