St. Luke’s University Health Network, a leading employer in the Lehigh Valley and the surrounding region, has earned a Governor’s Employer Award for outstanding hiring practices that move people off government assistance and into financially stable jobs.
The honor was among the Governor’s Employer awards given Wednesday, May 8, at the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association’s Employment, Training and Education Conference in Hershey, Pa.
St. Luke’s specifically received an Employer Honor Roll Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services for its record of success in hiring participants in the state’s Employment, Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) program.
EARN works in all 67 counties to get participants off government assistance by addressing barriers to employment and coordinating existing employment and training programs.
Participants receive case management, career training and life skills development. They must devote a minimum of 20 hours a week to the program.
St. Luke’s currently employs more than 15,000 people at 10 hospitals and more than 320 outpatient sites. St. Luke’s works with PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley to find qualified candidates to fill open positions. Among those applicants are EARN program participants.
“We have taken quite a few referrals from PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley and they have turned out to be great employees,” said Sharon Scheirer, St. Luke’s Senior Coordinator of College Relations and Employee Development.
St. Luke’s was nominated by Workforce Board Lehigh Valley, a group of business leaders and stakeholders who work to ensure that the region has a workforce that is trained to meet the demands of businesses.
In the nomination, Workforce Board Lehigh Valley noted that one EARN participant was recently hired as a full-time medical receptionist and now plans to study to become a registered nurse. Another accepted a full-time medical assistant position, and a third was on-board as a full-time personal care aide–each earning more than twice the state’s minimum wage.
Workforce Board Lehigh Valley also noted that St. Luke’s also provides its employees with tuition assistance and incentives to further advance their skills and develop rewarding career pathways.
Nancy Dischinat, executive director of Workforce Board Lehigh Valley, praised St. Luke’s for helping retool the Lehigh Valley’s workforce for the growing health care sector. She said St. Luke’s has expanded education and training options while creating initiatives to decrease the skills gaps.
“St. Luke’s Hospital is a major part of our community’s fabric and it is because of their ‘commitment of help’ that job seekers are provided an opportunity to work within their many health care locations, and many different job opportunities throughout the Lehigh Valley,” Dischinat said. “We are proud of St. Luke’s Hospital. Workforce Board Lehigh Valley is proud to call them our partners in workforce development.”
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.