University Hospitals finds a source for new hires in its own backyard.

University Hospitals’ “Step Up to UH” program identifies and assists underemployed adults who live in the health system’s surrounding Cleveland neighborhood and have the potential to become productive employees. University Hospitals offers three-week, pre-employment training sessions in soft skills and work ethic to help Cleveland job candidates get jobs at University Hospitals. Once hired, these employees have access to a six-month coaching program to improve their job skills.

The program is funded by The Cleveland Foundation and through partnerships with Neighborhood Connections, a community building and development organization, and Towards Employment, a job readiness program for underemployed and unemployed adults.

For example, Step Up to UH counselors help potential candidates view jobs on University Hospitals’ website, eliminating barriers for local residents who don’t have access to a computer or the technology skills necessary to view the open positions. The counselors also assist potential job candidates with writing resumes, improving interviewing skills, understanding child care options, and developing interpersonal skills in the workplace.

“Our recruitment to retention rate has been fabulous. We interview fewer numbers of workers to fill jobs,” says Gartland.

In some cases, these entry-level jobs become ladders to higher-level positions. For example, University Hospitals identifies workers who―with some additional training and education―could be promoted to a more senior position or given opportunities to take clinical roles as phlebotomists or pharmacy technicians. 

See related article: University Hospitals Uses ‘Local’ Strategy to Improve its Community


Interviewed for this article:
Heidi Gartland, vice president of government relations, University Hospitals, Cleveland.

Publication Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2014