An employer is shaking the hand of a new employee, a woman in a wheelchair.

Workforce Development

Oregon’s demographics are changing. Our population is growing. It is also becoming more diverse. To meet this growing diversity, we need a workforce that provides services that are culturally and linguistically responsive. This is greatly important for those who provide health and human services.

Policies, standards and trainings can help to create a workforce that is better equipped to meet the needs of our community. This is especially the case for BIPOC-AI/AN communities. 

Economic opportunities are limited in rural areas. They are also limited for people with disabilities. To create more equitable opportunities for employment, barriers need to be addressed in:

  • Higher education
  • Entering and staying in the workforce
  • Equitable wages

Our approach:

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    Why This Matters

    There are many systemic barriers for affected groups in getting and keeping employment. Best human resource practices in hiring, recruitment and retention can lessen these barriers.

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    Definition

    Workforce development can include workplace culture, professional development, and retention efforts.

    Trauma-informed is an approach that acknowledges the impact of trauma. It promotes a culture of safety, empowerment, and healing.

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    Why This Matters

    Bias in hiring practices prevents equal opportunities for communities in Oregon and creates barriers to hiring staff that are reflective of communities served. This strategy aims to create standards for workforce development programs to increase staff diversity.

    It also aims to offer trainings for staff to increase cultural responsiveness for communities of color and disability communities.

     

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    Definition

    Alternative health care delivery models include allowing other providers to deliver services that doctors most often provide.

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    Why This Matters

    The term health care provider includes:

    • Doctors
    • Nurses
    • Dentists
    • Pharmacists
    • Dieticians
    • Traditional health workers
    • Peer support specialists
    • Certified medical assistants

    Introducing more flexibility in the role and scope of these providers can improve patient access to care in rural areas. For instance, dentists, dental hygienists and pharmacists can be allowed to provide immunizations and blood pressure checks while people are already being seen. This lessens the need to make more appointments.

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    Why This Matters

    There is a significant shortage of behavioral health providers in Oregon. In particular, people with limited English face problems finding a provider who speaks their language and understands their culture. Workforce development is key to ensure that people are able to access culturally-responsive behavioral health care.  This includes:

    • Recruitment
    • Training
    • Mentoring
    • Retention
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    Definition

    Cultural responsiveness is the ability of individuals and systems to respond respectfully to people of all cultures, in a way that accepts the value and preserves the dignity of individuals, families and communities.

    Traditional Health Workers is an umbrella term for frontline public health workers who work in a community or clinic. In most cases, they work under the direction of a licensed health provider. Examples include Community Health Workers and Peer Support Specialists.

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    Why This Matters

    Traditional health workers are a valuable part of Oregon’s health and social support system.  They often come from the community they serve. They provide a critical link to services.

    This strategy aims to increase culturally responsive care through greater use of traditional health workers and training of health care and other service providers.

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    Definition

    Public-facing means agencies that provide a direct service to people.

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    Why This Matters

    Our understanding of the intersection between trauma, toxic stress and health is growing every year. This strategy aims to build understanding of trauma-informed approaches in state agencies and organizations that contract with the state.

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    Definition

    Sexual orientation is the scientific term for a person’s attraction to members of the same and, or opposite sex.

    Gender identity is a person’s internal, deeply held sense of their gender that may or may not match the sex they were assigned at birth.

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    Why This Matters

    Some providers are more informed than others about the importance of being aware of unique needs related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

    This strategy aims to ensure that providers are responsive to lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, nonbinary and transgender people. 

    This is especially important for trans people so they:

    • Are referred to by the name and pronouns they use
    • Are not misgendered
    • Are treated with respect and dignity
    • Receive appropriate care