Daily KOS: Program allows low-wage healthcare workers of color to obtain better paying union jobs

Program allows low-wage healthcare workers of color to obtain better paying union jobs

In 2020, at the age of 49, Trinidad Garcia de Ochoa went back to school—sort of. At the time, she was a healthcare worker at an Irvine, California, Kaiser Permanente hospital, where she spent 12 years doing strenuous housekeeping work. She decided it was time for a change and through her union—the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers West (UHW)—she enrolled in a program that would allow her to move up into a better paying union job in a new department.


The program Garcia de Ochoa enrolled in was offered through the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP) [LINK TO PART 1 IN SERIES], a national labor management organization comprised of healthcare employers and SEIU locals that provide programs, trainings, and educational opportunities to healthcare workers historically locked out of career advancement opportunities. Healthcare is one of the most segregated industries in the United States, and this is especially true for low-wage healthcare jobs. According to the Brookings Institute, as of 2019, 79% of workers in health services were women, with the entry level overwhelmingly comprised of Black women, Latinas, and immigrants. H-CAP is trying to chip away at these structural inequalities by creating a pipeline of healthcare workers of color into higher paying union jobs.


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