DWD: Wisconsin Health Care Workforce Annual Report Released

Dick Jones, Agency Contact, 608-266-6753

Madison – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman announced today the release of the first annual Wisconsin Health Care Workforce Annual Report.

The release of the report, which comes during Workforce Development Month in Wisconsin, addresses one of Governor Doyle’s Grow Wisconsin Initiatives — promoting the health care industry workforce. In addition to highlighting statewide efforts already underway, the report details priorities from the Secretary’s Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Development, a group of health care business, labor, advocacy, government, and education organizations formed in 2003.

The purpose of the report is to illustrate:

Expected growth in the health care field and related projections for occupation demand;
Graduation numbers for students in key health care fields;
Statewide and regional innovative approaches currently being taken to address the shortage; and
Focus areas identified by the Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Development.

“I look forward to working on these challenges with all stakeholders in the health care workforce industry,” Secretary Gassman said. “Together we can link our workers to high-demand health care occupations, our health care providers with skilled health care workers, and join forces with our educational institutions to meet the growing need for quality education and training to produce Wisconsin’s qualified health care workers of the future.”

One out of eight Wisconsin residents is currently 65 years of age or older, however, that ratio is expected to be one of six by 2020, and one out of every five by 2030. These startling statistics underscore the need for proactive efforts to address current and impending labor shortages in health care occupations.

In Wisconsin, job totals are projected to increase 13.3 percent by 2012, while growth in health care jobs is expected to be 30.3% – or more than 10,000 health care jobs annually over the next ten years for both new and replacements jobs. Nationally, the health care industry could add 3.5 million new jobs by 2012, an increase of 30%.

One major trend, driven by the aging population, is the growing need for high quality long term care. Some have estimated that one-third of health care workers will be working in long term care settings in the near future. As our population ages and we opt for home-based care versus institutional settings, Home Health Aides, Nursing Aides, Certified Nursing Assistants and Licensed Practical/ Vocational Nurses will be in even higher demand.

Another high demand occupation is registered nurses expected to require 24,300 new and replacement workers by 2012.

The complete report can be found at: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/healthcare/. For more information on Workforce Development Month, please visit the department’s website at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/