The demand for health care workers is expected to grow substantially. The Health Professions Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program aims to train people for these jobs and invest in the skills and employment of low-income workers.
Specifically, HPOG grants fund education and training efforts that prepare Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income people for high-demand, high-paying jobs in the health care industry.
The Administration for Children and Families in the US Department of Health and Human Services runs the program. In 2010, it awarded 32 organizations five-year grants, followed by another round of grants in 2015. Grantees designed and implemented programs to provide eligible participants education, occupational training, and support and employment services.
The Urban Institute is part of a team of research organizations, led by Abt Associates, evaluating both rounds of the HPOG program. The evaluation includes four studies: a randomized controlled trial evaluation of program impacts, an implementation study, a descriptive outcomes study, and a systems study of the partnerships formed to carry out HPOG programs.
In addition, the Urban Institute studied other critical issues, including ways to measure recipients’ career progress, challenges grantees faced in serving TANF recipients, grantees use of performance measurement data, and the context and implications of the Affordable Care Act for training programs. The Urban Institute is also developing the program’s annual report.