This report summarizes Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program training and services offered to and received by participants during HPOG 1.0. It also describes the education, employment, and earnings outcomes for samples of participants at varying periods after enrollment. Additionally, it provides a summary of findings from the National Implementation Evaluation (NIE) Descriptive Implementation and Outcome Studies and Systems Change Analysis.

The purpose of the HPOG Program is to provide education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. HPOG 1.0 grantees designed and implemented programs to provide eligible participants with education, occupational training, and support and employment services to help them train for and find jobs in a variety of healthcare professions.

The major research question for the NIE Outcome Study examines how HPOG participants fared in educational attainment and employment and earnings during and after program enrollment. The study measured education outcomes through course completions and credential attainment. The employment- and earnings-related measures include quarterly employment and earnings, hourly wage, and employee benefits. The research questions addressed in the report are as follows:

  1. How are health professions training programs implemented across the grantee sites?
  2. What changes to the service delivery system are associated with program implementation?
  3. What individual-level outputs and outcomes occur?

This final report includes:

  1. Characteristics at enrollment for all participants from the start of the HPOG 1.0 Program (September 30, 2010) through its end (September 30, 2015);
  2. Pre-training activities, training courses, and support services available to HPOG participants;
  3. Program experiences and training outcomes for participants at 18 months after enrollment;
  4. Program experiences and training outcomes for a sample of participants at 36 months after enrollment;
  5. Quarterly employment and earnings outcomes from the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) for 12 quarters after enrollment;
  6. Characteristics of participants’ jobs from the 15-month follow-up survey of HPOG participants; and
  7. Participant experiences and aspirations from the 15-month follow-up survey of HPOG participants.

Major Findings & Recommendations

Findings:

  • HPOG was successful in training high numbers of individuals in healthcare occupations. In just over 5 years of operation, HPOG 1.0 grantees served more than 36,000 individuals (well above the target of 31,000 participants) and engaged most of them in healthcare occupational training.
  • Overall, employment and earnings continued to increase through 12 quarters following HPOG enrollment, with steeper increases in earlier quarters. Employment and earnings increased for all those who enrolled in training, but employment rates and earnings were higher for those who completed training than those who did not.
  • Seventy-two percent of those employed after HPOG enrollment were employed in healthcare jobs. On average, those employed worked full-time, and those employed in healthcare jobs had higher hourly wages and better employment benefits than those who had jobs in other sectors.
  • The demographic profile of HPOG participants did not vary much over the 5-year grant period. The majority of HPOG participants were female, from ethnic minority groups, never married, and parents.

Recommendations:

  • Programs like HPOG may want to balance support of short- and long-term training.
  • Given the study’s findings that those who completed longer-term training earned higher wages, programs like HPOG should support those in longer-term training while encouraging and creating incentives for those who complete shorter-term training to return to school and continue on a career pathway.
  • Programs like HPOG could employ two strategies for program design and implementation in order to lower eligibility standards while increasing participation in healthcare training among academically underprepared individuals.