Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program provides education and training to TANF recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the healthcare field that pay well and are expected to either experience labor shortages or be in high demand. The HPOG program is administered by the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). In FY 2010, five-year grant awards were made to 32 entities located across 23 states, including four tribal colleges and one tribal organization. These demonstration projects are intended to address two challenges: the increasing shortfall in supply of healthcare professionals in the face of expanding demand; and the increasing requirement for a post-secondary education to secure a well-paying job. Grant funds may be used for training and education as well as supportive services such as case management, child care, and transportation.
The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) is utilizing a multi-pronged evaluation strategy to assess the success of the HPOG demonstration projects. The research and evaluation activities aim to provide information on program implementation, systems change, outcomes and impact. The various components are being closely coordinated in order to avoid duplicative efforts, maximize the re-use of data and information that is collected, reduce burden on grantees in terms of participating in the federal evaluation activities and meeting performance management requirements, and promote cross-project learning. The components of OPRE’s research and evaluation portfolio for HPOG are as follows: