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Throughout the pandemic, rural health care facilities have been overwhelmed, and an already strained workforce is partly to blame. According to Brad Gibbens, acting director of the Center for Rural Health at UND, workforce is the most important policy issue in rural health, especially nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic and recovery are part of the issue, but the conditions generating the lack of workers existed long before the first COVID-19 infections in the U.S., said Joe Hobot, president and CEO of the American Indian OIC.
Solving the future workforce challenges in the Midwest will take collaboration and innovation from businesses, communities, educational institutions and government working together to recruit, prepare and train our future workforce.
Even the pandemic’s grip on the economy loosens, a new challenge is cropping up for child care professionals at the new facility, and for teachers, across the region: an apparent labor shortage.

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