The Healthcare Workforce Partnership of Western Massachusetts

A collaborative approach to addressing healthcare workforce needs

The Healthcare Workforce Partnership of Western Massachusetts is an initiative of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. It is a collaboration among employers, workforce development leaders, training and education providers, community-based organizations, and philanthropic organizations.

All of these partners have come together with the shared mission of strengthening the region’s healthcare workforce and enhancing the quality of patient care.

Employers Educators Philanthropy Organizations Development

The Partnership responds to the workforce needs of employers and ensures that workers have access to the education and training needed to prepare them for lifelong careers in the rapidly changing healthcare industry.

There are a number of roles that each of these organizations play within the Partnership, including:

  • Partners – organization that provide industry knowledge, assistance with recruiting and assessment, project design and implementation and other needs
  • Partnership Funders – – organizations that provide financial support for Partnership operations, infrastructure and access to resources such as the Centralized Nursing Clinical Placement System
  • Project Funders – organizations that provide financial resources for specific projects or initiatives

Governance & Funding

The Healthcare Workforce Partnership advisory board oversees a number of working groups focused on nursing and allied health occupations.  Advisory board members are senior leaders representing different partner organizations.  Learn more about the activities of each of the working groups:

The Healthcare Workforce Partnership is a self-sustaining initiative that uses a co-investment model to support the Partnerships’ operations, infrastructure and some projects.  Partners serve as co-investors by providing annual financial support to the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. Additional government, grant and philanthropic funding also supports specific initiatives.


In 2006, the Pioneer Valley was selected to be one of 10 areas nationwide to participate in Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), a new national initiative to develop and test solutions to America’s nursing shortage.

The healthcare sector is critical to the Western Massachusetts economy, responsible for 16 percent of all jobs and 19 percent of annual payroll. The patient population is aging and the current healthcare workforce is nearing retirement. These factors contribute to project sector growth that will lead the region with job creation in the future.

Community leaders in Western Massachusetts identified a mismatch between employer hiring needs and the region’s capacity to produce a qualified workforce. Projected workforce shortages that if left unattended, will have significant negative consequences on this region, leading not only to a problem in healthcare, but also to an economic competitiveness issue for businesses and a reduced quality of life issue for the region.

As the region’s needs have evolved, the Partnership has evolved and its focus has evolved as well. The complete list of current and past Partnership projects are available here.


An initiative of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County

50% of all healthcare workers work in a hospital
Question 1 Explanation: 
False. Approximately 30% of Western Mass healthcare workers work in a hospital. Others have jobs in the community, in nursing homes, or in "ambulatory healthcare services" - doctors' offices, home healthcare and diagnostic labs.