WBC Launches Medical Assistant Pathway Program


A constantly changing economy, demands an evolving workforce. The healthcare industry is just one industry that continues to grow and will remain in need of a constant influx of skilled talent including medical assistants. According to the 2018 Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, medical assistants are projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026. This is much faster than the average for all occupations and is largely due to aging-Baby Boomers who will need the care of skilled medical professionals over the next several decades.

To meet the workforce needs of the future, World Business Chicago (WBC) created the Career Pathways Pilot Program in partnership with The Chicago Workforce Funders Alliance.  Set to officially launch this fall, the program will provide healthcare employees the opportunity to complete a Medical Assistant (MA) certification program at Malcolm X College over an 18-month period. “The healthcare industry and opportunities within it provide career paths for Chicagoans that make a lasting impact on the economic security on skilled workforce here in Chicago.” said WBC’s President and CEO, Andrea Zopp.


“The healthcare industry and opportunities within it provide career paths for Chicagoans that make a lasting impact on the economic security on skilled workforce here in Chicago.”

Andrea Zopp, President & CEO, World Business Chicago


This fully-funded program provides selected participants with a shared cohort experience, networking opportunities and financial assistance for local transportation costs and program-related materials and exams. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive employment placement support from an external program coordinator. If the pilot is successful, the model will be used to create similar opportunities for Chicago residents interested in healthcare.


“From the West Side to the South Side, hospitals are doing their part to not only save lives but to improve the workforce in the neighborhoods they serve.”

Bernita Johnson-Gabriel, Executive Vice President for Neighborhood and Strategic Initiatives, World Business Chicago


WBC remains focused on inclusive growth throughout its neighborhoods and the Pathways program is yet another example of a commitment to fostering both economic and professional development throughout the city. “The Career Pathways Pilot represents all that is great about collaborating to achieve a common goal. Approximately 25 employees from four hospitals will be given an opportunity to advance their careers and increase their earning potential,” said Bernita Johnson-Gabriel, Executive Vice President for Neighborhood and Strategic Initiatives at World Business Chicago. Top hospitals across the city will support this initiative by lending their facilities and staff under the umbrella of the Chicagoland Healthcare Workforce Collaborative, including Rush University Medical Center, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, North Shore University Hospital and University of Chicago Medical Center. “From the West Side to the South Side, hospitals are doing their part to not only save lives but improve the workforce in the neighborhoods they serve,” Ms. Johnson-Gabriel added.

Learn more about the Career Pathways Pilot program.

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