Councilmembers Winkler and Piagentini announce $40 million in proposed ARP funding

October 25, 2022
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Louisville (October 25, 2022) – Councilmembers Markus Winkler (D-17) and Anthony Piagentini (R-19) announce their sponsorship of an ordinance allocating $40 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding as recommended by the Workforce Development workgroup. This is the seventh round of proposed ARP funding and will be appropriated to the Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition.

Louisville is facing a healthcare workforce crisis that is uniquely detrimental to our largest sector and is poised to only get worse, especially with an aging demographic. Healthcare jobs are expected to increase nearly 4x the amount of all other jobs in the region with an anticipated need for nearly 8,500 healthcare jobs in Greater Louisville by 2029. All of this, compounded by increased personnel costs from a COVID-fueled national wage market as well as a shift towards an aging nation, has created the perfect workforce storm with swelling labor costs, decreasing productivity, missed economic opportunity, and the potential for a true healthcare crisis.

With this crisis Louisville has a rare opportunity to be in front as a national leader and solution model epicenter leading to extreme economic growth. Achieving recognition as a leading world center of aging innovation and attracting even 1% of the global longevity economy to move or expand here, we are poised to experience a growth of $80 billion.

The Louisville Healthcare CEO Council (CEO), which represents the fifteen largest healthcare aging innovation companies founded or headquartered in Louisville, has formed a coalition to address this mounting crisis.

The Healthcare Workforce Innovation Coalition is comprised of public and private stakeholders who are committed to collectively transforming Greater Louisville's economy into a national epicenter of healthcare aging innovation. The $40 million in ARP seed funds will be used to execute a comprehensive, systems levels approach focused on three strategic priorities:

  1. Executing a comprehensive, industry led and healthcare-focused workforce strategy that increases and diversifies the healthcare talent pipeline for jobs at all levels by mitigating barriers to training and employment.
  2. Increasing the region’s capacity of workforce innovation for a stronger and more equitable health economy
  3. Supporting this initiative through project elements including the development of a state-of-the art tech and learning center in Russell Station, connecting East to West, (forming a regional innovation corridor from Nulu to Russell).

“Workforce development is critical to our city’s growth,” says Winkler. “With this ARP allocation we are making a substantial investment in producing workers for one of our key industries – healthcare.  Getting people into high paying jobs helps address many challenges in our community and the fact that healthcare leaders in our city have committed to creating thousands of jobs around this project should be exciting for all of our residents.”

“This proposal for the workforce segment of the ARP funding is focused on a transformational program to increase our local healthcare workforce,” says Piagentini.  “This is not only a signature industry in Louisville, but it is also critical to improving the overall health of our community.  This recommended program involves multiple organizations in our city and will be transformational in creating the healthcare jobs of the future.”

ARP funding was allocated to cities by the federal government in 2021 to help communities recover from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Louisville Metro Government (LMG) was allocated $388 million in ARP Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. As of today, there is $58 million in remaining funding to be allocated by 2024. The remaining $18 million will be allocated in the near future to other projects currently in discussion.

The Metro Council and Mayor Fischer developed priority areas for ARP spending which include Public Safety, Public Health, Homelessness and Affordable Housing, Workforce Development, and Healthy Louisville/Healthy Neighborhoods. This proposal was vetted and approved by the Workforce Development workgroup.

For more information, please contact Councilman Winkler’s office at 574-1117 or Councilman Piagentini’ s office at 574-1119.

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