Shavers’ Education Bill Expands Health Care Education in High Schools

OLYMPIA – A bill to support students interested in pursuing careers in health care passed the Washington House of Representatives with a vote of 97-00. Sponsored by Representative Clyde Shavers (D-Clinton), House Bill 2236 develops the Allied Health Program and a statewide task force that serves to expand career and technical education in our high schools.

“This is a huge leap towards creating more career opportunities for our students, especially in meaningful and well-paying healthcare roles in Washington State,” said Shavers. “With this bill, we are encouraging a new generation of young adults excited to serve our communities.”

The Allied Health Professions Career and Technical Education Program will incorporate elements of the Core Plus program that is designed to provide pathways for students to employment. This program focuses on hands-on curriculum for professional development and career learning.

The Allied Health Program will initially focus on long-term care, medical assistance/certified nursing assistance, and physical therapy/sports medicine.

The Statewide Career and Technical Education Task Force will focus on expanding and strengthening career and technical education (CTE) in our middle and high schools by providing recommendations on more opportunities for careers, employment, apprenticeships, and postsecondary education.

During the public hearing, supporters highlighted the success of existing programs in preparing students for workforce opportunities, with a particular focus health care. By leveraging industry connections and industry-approved curriculum, this bill aims to address the healthcare worker shortage and provide students with meaningful pathways to successful careers in the allied health sector.

“I am proud to have sponsored this bill and look forward to providing even more opportunities for every student across Washington,” said Shavers. “As Vice Chair of the House Education Committee, I believe that our duty is to pursue policies that foster meaning and purpose in every child’s life; to provide our students the myriad of opportunities early and often in their education experience.”

House Bill 2236 is now with the Senate for further consideration. This year’s Legislative Session ends on March 8.