In a continuing series of industry deep-dive reports, the Center for a Competitive Workforce recently released Health Care Services in the Los Angeles Basin, which forecasts job opportunities, analyzes changing skills requirements, and illuminates career education pathways for the local-serving health care industry in the greater LA Basin. The report, accompanied by a 12-page overview, was funded by the Strong Workforce Program, an initiative of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

The report reveals how significant the industry is to the local economy, with a current employment of 588,330 public and private payroll workers, based on the most recent data, which equates to a full 10 percent of total regional employment. The industry has added almost 116,000 jobs in the past ten years and is projected to provide over 125,000 job openings in the next five years, of which approximately 67,000 are new jobs and 59,000 are replacement worker opportunities as people change occupations.

This third report from the Center is designed to help training providers such as the community college system align programs with demand from local industry, help employers identify and engage with those talent pipelines, and help students learn about the middle skill occupations that present career opportunities. The report includes an analysis of 15 middle-skill occupations for which community colleges offer degree and/ or certificate programs, and presents granular data on wages, job openings, educational requirements, and demographics of those in-demand occupations. The report also presents data on the supply of talent coming through the community colleges and workforce development boards in the region.

The highest growth by number of jobs is forecasted to occur in the ambulatory health care and services subsector, and the report also finds there is a talent gap for nurses, with the shortage acutely felt in the field of specialty nursing, exacerbated by a shortage of instructors.

One of the report’s key recommendations is to increase the amount of industry partnerships with educational systems so that the increasingly technical skills requirements are being conveyed to schools and included in curricula, so programs remain tightly aligned with tasks performed in occupations.

“Health care is a high-growth industry that offers significant employment opportunities for middle-skill workers” said Shannon Sedgwick, LAEDC senior economist and report co-author. “Our jobs forecast provides industry intelligence our community colleges need to ensure their talent supply can meet the industry’s demand for middle skill workers.”

The LAEDC is already beginning research for the next CCW report, on the professional services industry.

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