FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pittsburgh (June 30, 2020) – Partner4Work was awarded $150,000 from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to develop resources and services that quickly place job seekers into employment opportunities. Partner4Work will partner with UPMC Health Plan to create a pipeline to careers throughout the region, including at UPMC. The award will be used to uplift existing and new Medicaid enrollees whose careers have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and guide them on the road to stable employment and financial recovery, including those covered through UPMC Health Plan’s Medicaid managed care organization, UPMC for You.
With more than two million new unemployment claims filed in Pennsylvania since the beginning of the pandemic — translating to 30 percent of the state’s labor force — this funding will connect new, job-seeking Medicaid enrollees to PA CareerLink® re-employment services and prepare them for stable careers that pay family-sustaining wages. These efforts will further amplify Partner4Work and the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s commitment to build and expand public workforce services to best serve the population during this unprecedented time.
Earl Buford, chief executive officer, Partner4Work, reiterated the value of joining forces with the private sector. “By leveraging the existing resources of the public workforce system and the reach and influence of a major health system, Medicaid enrollees have double the opportunity in finding their next career path in health care and other in-demand industries for the region.”
The partnership will extend employment services and opportunities to a broader population, help UPMC fill open positions with qualified applicants, and guide individuals enrolled in Medicaid to pathways that lead to sustainable careers in health care and beyond. Specifically, the funding will be used to:
“Employment is a key focus of the recently formed UPMC Center for Social Impact and we are grateful for the opportunity to work in close collaboration with Partner4Work and PA DHS. This effort to enhance workforce training and education and employment opportunities for Medicaid enrollees in Pennsylvania is especially needed during this time of increased need for many,” said John Lovelace, president of UPMC for You at UPMC Insurance Services Division.
UPMC for You serves 460,000 Medicaid members, of which nearly 120,000 are working-age adults in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and refers new Medicaid members to workforce supports. In 2020, in partnership with the Department of Labor & Industry and MCOs, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services announced a new partnership that connects Medicaid recipients to employment and training programs called the Medicaid Work Supports Initiative. The $150,000 grant will help advance and support this initiative as it will identify and connect Medicaid enrollees to resources that can help address barriers to employment, lead to more success in the workforce and create a more direct and systematic introduction to employment and training resources available to Pennsylvanians.
“COVID-19 has affected every corner of our commonwealth, and lower-income communities are experiencing both the virus and the economic insecurity acutely due to pre-existing health inequities and poverty,” said Pennsylvania Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller. “As we begin to reopen and rebuild, we must provide support to these communities and not further burden those who face greater barriers to economic stability and good health. This partnership between a Medicaid managed care organization and the public workforce system will address critical needs in the community and demonstrate that together we can help people move out of poverty and create a healthier life.”
Nationally recognized for innovation, Partner4Work is the workforce development organization that connects funding, expertise, and opportunities for employers, job seekers, agencies, and policymakers to develop a thriving workforce in the Pittsburgh area. As stewards of more than $25 million in public and private workforce funds, Partner4Work oversees and funds workforce programs for adults, dislocated workers, and youth; educates the community through labor market analytics; and implements innovative solutions to the region’s systemic workforce challenges. More information is available at www.partner4work.org.
About UPMC Insurance Services
UPMC Insurance Services is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. UPMC Insurance Services—which includes UPMC Health Plan, Workpartners, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, and Community Care Behavioral Health—offers a full range of health insurance and benefit management services including Medicare, Special Needs, Children's Health Insurance (CHIP), Medical Assistance, Behavioral Health, Employee Assistance, and Workers' Compensation products and services to over 3.7 million members. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.