UPMC Health Plan Expands Job Training, Education, and Opportunities

The Pathways to Work program builds on existing programs and initiatives to break down barriers to employment and better reach underserved populations.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

PITTSBURGH, July 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UPMC Health Plan today announced a new initiative—Pathways to Work—that aims to increase access to employment through training, education, and dedicated support from UPMC staff. This program is administered through the UPMC Center for Social Impact, and it aggregates UPMC Health Plan’s existing workforce development and employment efforts, creates and scales new partnerships and programs, and connects individuals to employment opportunities at UPMC and other Pennsylvania employers.

The Pathways to Work program has four pillars of engagement: 

  • Hiring individuals for jobs at UPMC—UPMC has many job openings for diverse skill sets available and is working to promote these opportunities to individuals enrolled in social service benefit programs. In the past three years UPMC, has hired nearly 600 individuals who were previously on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Serving as a direct referral service—UPMC Health Plan connects Medicaid members to job supports across the state as part of the Medicaid Work Support Initiative through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Community HealthChoices members also have access to employment referral services.
  • Establishing partnerships with Workforce and employment organizations—Public-private partnerships are crucial to workforce development. UPMC Health Plan works with community organizations to create an employment pipeline that meets the hiring needs of employers in our region. An example of this work is the recently announced partnership between UPMC for You and Partner4Work to expand work supports through a Richard King Mellon Foundation award.
  • Supporting public policy campaigns to break down barriers to work—For some people, public policies may be the barrier to finding fulfilling employment. UPMC Health Plan advocates for policies that reduce barriers to work, such as supporting the elimination of the “benefits cliff” that in some cases requires individuals with disabilities’ to choose between promotion or maintaining existing benefits.


Pathways to Work will make a concerted effort to engage members covered by UPMC for You—UPMC Health Plan’s Medicaid plan—as well as individuals in the community who are unemployed or underemployed and those with an intellectual, physical, or behavioral disability who are looking for employment and no-cost job training programs.

“This program will help our members find employment, create opportunities for career development in underserved communities, and fill critical positions within the UPMC system. It really can make a positive impact on a lot of people,” said Sharon Czyzewski, vice president of human resources at UPMC Health Plan. “As the largest Medicaid provider in Pennsylvania and the largest non-governmental employer in the state, UPMC has a unique opportunity to engage our members and communities around employment challenges; continue to increase the diversity within the UPMC workforce; and most importantly, provide individuals the opportunity for a lifelong career with great benefits and professional development.”

This program has taken on a new urgency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, more than 2 million Pennsylvanians have filed initial jobless claims since the pandemic began in March. To meet the increased need for employment services, human resource professionals are available to support UPMC Health Plan members who have lost their jobs and are seeking new career opportunities. Members can contact a talent acquisition specialist who can connect them with resources and opportunities through UPMC Health Plan customer service, or they can email pathwaystowork@upmc.edu  and receive a response within two days.

“We know that having a stable job leads to better overall health for many individuals,” said John Lovelace, president of UPMC for You at UPMC Insurance Services Division and president of government programs at UPMC Health Plan. “Through this program, we will connect the mission, vision, and values of UPMC with the hiring needs of UPMC and other employers across the state to help train a committed workforce that will fill high-need, well-paying, and sustainable jobs.”

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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 Organization—offers a full range of health insurance and benefit management services including Medicare, Special Needs Plan, Children's Health Insurance Program, Medical Assistance, behavioral health, employee assistance, and workers' compensation products and services to 3.9 million members. For more information, visit www.upmchealthplan.com.


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