Schools and hospitals are teaming up in New Milford to create healthcare jobs

NEW MILFORD – A team of health, education and city workers are working in New Milford to promote healthcare as a viable career and attract young people into the workforce.

The group, which includes the New Milford School Board, Nuvance Health and Western Connecticut State University, aims to reach out to students and their parents to persuade young people to enter the field. The aim is to create more jobs in the medical field, from qualified nursing assistants to doctors, specialists and other health professionals.

The team, formed after Mayor Pete Bass said the city had hired Dale Kroop, owner of Community Resource Management LLC, in Hamden as a moderator to “bring all parties together when it came to planning an expanded health cluster in New Milford create”.

At the New Milford Town Council meeting on December 12, Kroop spoke about the health cluster initiative and said the first part, which began a year ago, involved conducting a study in health sciences related to healthcare, biotechnology and STEM-related fields . In addition to revealing the biggest growth areas in healthcare sciences, Kroop said the study reveals all of the earning potential in healthcare professions.

The next part of the initiative, Kroop said, is the formation of a cluster of healthcare professionals. A group was formed during 2022 that included professionals from Nuvance Health, regional rehabilitation centers, the New Milford Board of Education, Western Connecticut State University at Danbury and Naugatuck Valley Community College with campuses in Danbury and Waterbury. Nuvance Health operates seven hospitals in New York and Connecticut, including New Milford Hospital.

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Over the year, Kroop said, the cluster spent many meetings “getting to know each other and finding a way to get the young people to their places to get an education and see healthcare as a good merit, a good way to.” promote earning a living.”

The members of the cluster drew up a series of recommendations for promoting the health profession. Recommendations included creating a trained pipeline of young and old workers in diverse healthcare settings; Involving parents in high school to understand opportunities to promote health care as a career for their children; and connecting health professionals with local parents to create a plan for outreach and placement of students.

Among other issues discussed at the cluster’s meetings, most members felt the city needed an advocate “with their boots on the ground” at City Hall, Kroop said.

He said he asked the group how the city could pay for a health care attorney, since it’s rare for a city to have a paid worker.

“It came down to working hard with Pete and I and the Regional Workforce Board to find a way to have someone here,” Kroop said.

He added that the board is committed to having someone personally work with the city through the mayor’s office, boards and commissions, and local parents to promote health care as a viable option for young people.

“At the end of the day, this was really a collaborative process to get all these people talking,” Kroop said.

Kroop’s own task of forming the group is complete, but the cluster will remain.

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“I think they will stay strong together and I know the mayor has been on all the calls, he’s heard all the good ideas and the good feelings that it brings about wanting to work together,” he said.

Bass said once he received the draft of the final plan from Kroop, he planned to send it to the city council and post the plan on the city’s website.

“Sounds like there is a good organization and the key is executing these actions from here,” said Councilor Chris Cosgrove.

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