From the York Dispatch: State grant helps train, recruit health workers - York Dispatch

While news of layoffs, financial failure and corporate closures have dominated headlines, state officials, business leaders and private donors have pooled resources to fund job training for health care careers.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry awarded a $385,000 grant to the South Central Pennsylvania Healthcare Industry Partnership, a consortium of 112 employers in an eight-county region.

That money, combined with $405,000 in private matching funds, will pay for training of current health care workers and recruitment of students to careers in health care.

With Pennsylvania's population among the nation's oldest -- third in the nation according to the U.S. Census -- the need to increase health care workers and capacity at facilities as well as retain experienced health professionals is a top priority statewide, said Sandi Vito, acting secretary of the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Vito and other health care officials announced the grant award Wednesday at WellSpan Health's York Hospital. They said as the population both increases and ages, greater demands will be placed on health care facilities. Supply of employees must match demand.

Bob Batory, vice president of human resources for WellSpan, said career opportunities exist in all areas of health care including in-home care, nursing facilities, rehabilitation and hospitals. Careers run the gamut from nurses aides and phlebotomists, to respiratory therapists and X-ray technicians.