Creating career pathways helps the medical industry and the state meet local workforce needs
A Saint Alphonsus nurse explains the proper use of gloves, to Linda Akike, and another student. (Photo courtesy of College of Western Idaho)
Linda Akike came to Boise from the Republic of Congo. She always dreamed of being a nurse, so when she heard she could enroll in a program that may lead to a full-time job at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, she leaped at the chance.
Akike learned about a new pre-apprenticeship program offered by the Idaho Department of Labor and the College of Western Idaho (CWI) through the International Rescue Committee in Boise. The CWI class offers 80 hours of instruction and training to prepare job seekers for an Environmental Services position in health care, and potentially a full-on career in the future.
The class trains people for environmental service work in a hospital and helps people like Akike, for whom English is a second language, learn English-speaking skills and health care vocabulary terms she’ll need to know.
By the year 2024, the national economy is projected to add 9.8 million jobs, health care and social assistance will have the most jobs and labor force participation will drop as the last of the baby boomers retire.
These projections are part of the long-term employment and occupation projections for the nation released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics every two years. Projections attempt to answer the question, “What will the economy look like a decade from now, if it were to be running at full capacity?” This information is provided for long-term planning for decision makers and for those planning their career options. Continue reading
Idaho’s economy has generated about 16,000 nonfarm jobs in 2013. Health care, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and construction were the most expansive sectors, accounting for 64 percent of the growth. The majority of jobs in every case were in southwestern Idaho, the state’s population center.
The biggest share was in manufacturing, which generated 16.5 percent of the new jobs, with durable manufacturing carrying the load. Since wages are typically higher in durable manufacturing than nondurable, those new jobs accounted for two-thirds of the $300 million in new wages that sector provided. The opening of the Chobani Greek yogurt plant in Twin Falls boosted nondurable manufacturing.
Health care jobs are in high demand in Idaho. The Idaho Department of Labor’s 2010-2020 forecast for the hottest jobs in the state shows six of the top 10 are in health care. However, Idaho’s demand for health care workers is not unique in the western United States, where competition could become intense to fill health care openings.
The need for registered nurses in Idaho is expected to increase more than 40 percent between 2010 and 2020 and could be even greater if the state follows others and requires all registered nurses to have bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The estimate sees registered nurses increasing from 11,500 in 2010 to nearly 17,000 in 2020.
The Idaho Department of Labor’s list of the hottest jobs in terms of highest
demand, best pay and largest number for the coming decade offers workers
some insight into where the best career opportunities lie and the kind of
education or training required.
The top 20 Hot Jobs in Idaho from 2010 through 2020 are:
- Registered nurse
- Medical and health service manager
- Physical therapist
- Dental hygienist
- Software applications developer
- Management analyst
- Physician and surgeon in areas other than specific specialties
- Network and computer systems administrator
- Market research analyst and marketing specialist
- Radiologic technologist and technician
- Family and general practitioner
- Physician assistant
- Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse
- Mechanical engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Computer system analyst
- Industrial machinery mechanic
- Loan officer
- Elementary school teacher other than in special education