“To make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road, we have to do more to help Americans upgrade their skills,” President Obama said in his State of the Union address earlier this year. In response, the White House launched the Upskill Initiative to help prepare workers of all ages for higher-paying jobs, whether or not they have a college degree.
Last week, our Vice President for Community Health, Matt Fishman, traveled to Washington, DC, to take part in the White House Upskill Summit, an event at which 100 employers made a commitment to help front-line workers get ahead through on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities.
At Partners HealthCare, we’ve long been dedicated to creating career opportunities for our employees and our community, so we were glad to join other companies, unions, and tech innovators in Washington to discuss ways to advance our shared goals. We were there with our partners from College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, a program that allows us to offer employees affordable, online, competency-based educational opportunities. Our tuition reimbursement program allows Partners employees to earn a degree through College for America, covering most of the cost of the $2,500 annual tuition for full-time employees. Part-time employees are also eligible for reimbursement, which results in minimal out-of-pocket costs to attain a degree through this innovative program.
Oftentimes, even workers who have access to training don’t take advantage of it, because of low awareness or challenges finding the time or money to do so. That’s why we create professional development programs that lead into career-track jobs, help make education more affordable and reach out to the community to raise awareness of job opportunities. As the largest employer in Massachusetts, we’re proud to contribute to the Upskill Initiative’s aims as we continue to make better-paying career opportunities open to more people in the communities we serve.