Pathways to Careers in Health Care


Pathways to Careers in Health Care

Publication Date





The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010 effected major changes in the financing and delivery of health care in the United States. It also authorized creation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants program (HPOG), a demonstration effort within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide opportunities for education and training that lead to jobs and career advancement in health care for recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other low-income individuals and to respond to the increasing demand for health care professionals. As a demonstration program, HPOG also featured a mandated federal evaluation to assess its success and a corresponding research program—the HPOG University Partnership Research Grants (HPOG UP), a collaborative effort between the program operators and academic researchers from different disciplines—to observe various aspects of its operations.

HPOG unites two important innovations in workforce development programming for serving low-income populations in recent decades, career pathways and sector strategies, by actively fostering the use of the former in the context of one major sector—health care. Health care is one of the only sectors that continued to exhibit growth year after year in periods of general economic expansion as well as decline. Health care employment even continued to expand in most states and communities across the United States through the Great Recession in 2008–2009. In addition to offering insights into these strategies and their evolution, the authors in this book present the findings, lessons, and recommendations that emanated from HPOG research and evaluations for consideration by policymakers, program operators, and other researchers.


Download 1. Introduction / Christopher T. King and Philip Young P. Hong (797 KB)


  1. Introduction / Christopher T. King and Philip Young P. Hong
  2. Career Pathway and Sector-Based Strategies / Christopher T. King and Heath J. Prince
  3. Pairing Program Administration with Evaluation to Build Evidence / Hilary Bruck, Amelia Popham, and Kim Stupica-Dobbs
  4. Descriptive Implementation and Outcome Findings for Health Profession Opportunity Grants 1.0 / Alan Werner, Pamela Loprest, and Robin Koralek
  5. Findings from the Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants Process and Outcomes Evaluation / Michael Meit, Carol Hafford, Catharine Fromknecht, Noelle Miesfeld, and Emily Phillips
  6. Culturally Effective Organizations / Janet Boguslaw, Jessica Santos, and Trinidad Tellez
  7. Cultural Competency in Workforce Development / Loretta Jean Heuer, Cynthia Lindquist, Marilyn G. Klug, and Mary Leff
  8. The Importance of Social Support for Low-Income Job Seekers / Cheryl A. Hyde and Karin M. Eyrich-Garg
  9. Implementing Career Pathway Training with a Family Focus / Teresa Eckrich Sommer, Terri Sabol, Patricia Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, and Christopher T. King
  10. Psychological Self-Sufficiency / Philip Young P. Hong, Timothy O’Brien, Jang Ho Park, Rana Hong, Terri Pigott, and Brian Holland
  11. Concluding Observations and Policy Recommendations / Christopher T. King and Philip Young P. Hong


Health Profession Opportunity Grants University Partnership Research Grants program


9780880996662 (pbk.) ; 9780880996679 (ebook)

Subject Areas

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT; On the job training; Incumbent worker training

Pathways to Careers in Health Care




King, Christopher T. and Philip Young P. Hong, eds. 2019. Pathways to Careers in Health Care. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.