Big Things Happening with Health Care, Workforce & Licensure

In 2017, the US Department of Labor announced a grant award of $7.5 million to the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL), the National Governors Association (NGA) as well as the Council on State Governments (CSG), for a project to review and find ways of improving the geographic mobility of workers in licensed occupations. One fifth of the US workforce is made up of workers in licensed occupations or jobs that require some kind of a government approval process. Current state licensing systems have become inefficient and creating barriers for workers trying to either enter a profession or restrict workers from mobility which limits economic growth.

Over the past 60 years licensed or government approved to practice jobs have grown from 1-in-20 jobs to almost 1-in-4.

NCSL, NGA and CSG have been working with 10 states to achieve two primary goals:

  • Identify licensing criteria to ensure that existing and new licensing requirements are not overly broad or burdensome and don’t create unnecessary barriers to labor market entry
  • Improve portability for selected occupational licenses across state lines

The project has produced research and technical assistance materials available for public use.

A balance must be struck between the burdensome requirements that just create barriers to employment and the requirements for protecting the public. More and more states are beginning to move towards the removal of licensure requirements or joining compacts with other states similar to the Nurse Licensing Compact to ensure mobility for our workforce. NCSL, NGA and CSG have created a database to assist states, employers in guiding current and future employees thru the licensing requirements between the states.

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) is constantly working to assist South Dakota providers with their workforce needs as it’s a priority and a major challenge. There are not enough people graduating with the degrees that are necessary for all of the open position in the healthcare facilities today. To aid our members with workforce needs, SDAHO provides resources on their website to assist in recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals.

SDAHO has partnered with the SD Department of Health, SD Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) to create a health careers guide. The guides are available for only the cost of postage if mailed, otherwise they are provided free of charge if picked up from the SDAHO office.Please contact Deb Peters, Vice President of Communications & Member Relations at 605-361-2281 or email Deb.Peters@SDAHO.org to obtain copies.