SCRANTON, Penn. — June 18, 2020 — Penn Foster, which works with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations across the country to develop pathways to economic opportunity, today announced a new initiative designed to help employers and workforce development organizations expand access to skills training in fast-growing careers. As part of Penn Foster’s Healthcare Careers Institute, new career pathway programs will build on Penn Foster’s popular talent development platform as demand for skilled healthcare workers continues to grow during a time of economic uncertainty.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare jobs were among the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the wake of the pandemic, these positions are expected to recover more quickly than nearly any other sector, leading healthcare providers to seek new strategies to recruit, hire, and retrain skilled talent in the coming months.

“As the healthcare industry grapples with unprecedented challenges, expanding access to career pathways can help to not only provide staffing and support for critical areas of the hospital and other healthcare organizations — but also support displaced workers impacted by COVID-19,” said Jaime Nguyen, MD, MPH, MS, Director of Allied Health Programs at Penn Foster. “Education and retraining can help Americans get back to work in ways that support and improve patient care.”

As part of this new initiative, the Healthcare Careers Institute now offers short-form training programs, which can be completed in 1-3 months, for positions like contact tracers, hospital companions, and home health aides that can serve as an on-ramp to allied health careers. These courses build upon Penn Foster’s existing comprehensive set of training programs for in-demand occupations like Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding and Pharmacy Technician, aligned to industry credentials and certifications and designed to prepare learners for credentialing exams and externships within 6-9 months.

“Providing new healthcare pathways for America’s workforce is strategic, timely, and critical in today’s economy,” said Paul Freedman, President of the Learning Marketplace at Guild Education. “Penn Foster’s Healthcare Careers Institute is a leading example of an accessible solution for talent development in the U.S.”

Penn Foster’s curriculum in middle-skill fields, including design, healthcare, and skilled trades, is used by more than 200,000 learners each year. Through partnerships with leading employers and workforce organizations, from YouthBuild USA, Banfield Pet Hospitals and Geisinger, Penn Foster provides training and reskilling programs that help job-seekers and working learners access opportunity in high-growth fields. For more information on the Penn Foster Healthcare Careers Institute and its programs, visit www.pennfoster.edu/healthcare.

About Penn Foster

Penn Foster is bridging the gap between education and economic opportunity to build the workforce of tomorrow. We partner with employers to design and deliver digital and blended learning programs that attract, upskill, and retain workers in America’s fastest-growing fields and professions. With more than 40,000 graduates each year, Penn Foster helps individuals discover pathways to opportunity through accredited diploma, certificate and degree programs that matter in the world of work. For more information, visit https://www.partners.pennfoster.edu.

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