Southwest Michigan Healthcare Consortium

The focus of the Southwest Michigan Healthcare Consortium is developing health care industry-based partnerships that will promote the economic health and welfare of the areas' businesses and workers.

A number of years ago, the Michigan Works! agencies for Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph Michigan Works! areas formed a "Regional Healthcare Skills Alliance" (RSA). The overall focus in forming this alliance was to develop healthcare industry-based partnerships that would promote the economic health and welfare of the areas' businesses and workers. Regional activities address healthcare worker shortages, skill shortages, training mismatches, employee recruitment, retention, and organizational design issues that are common across this geographic area.

Throughout the years, resources were shared and combined efforts were made to address common issues. In September 2011, an information gathering survey, along with an invitation to meet to discuss healthcare employer needs, was sent to healthcare providers in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph counties. These actions led to conversations where employers identified areas where they needed support.  They were:

  • Recruitment of qualified candidates
  • Background checks
  • Lockouts of clinical sites
  • Retention issues
  • Home healthcare aide certification

As a result of the initial meeting, five regional strategies were developed:

  • Share best practices in a forum that includes healthcare employers and partners representing workforce development, education, and economic development.
  • Plan and hold periodic career fairs to assist with meeting current employer needs.
  • Explore and identify a common assessment tool to assist employers in finding good candidate matches early on in the recruitment process.
  • Develop and maintain a database of current healthcare providers within the five county area.
  • Conduct periodic needs surveys and share the results.


  • Healthcare Assessment Tool - HealthcareSource Staff Assessment
  • Reality Check PowerPoint - Overview of training used to raise awareness of the realities of CNA and other direct care work; and to explore, and perhaps improve, the suitability for this work.