Skills Training Startup Launches in Colorado to Close Health Care Industry Skills Gaps

DENVER, Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — NextStep Interactive, a startup that helps displaced workers retrain for fast-growing careers in the health care sector, today announced the launch of an ambitious new training program designed to close skills gaps in Colorado’s health care workforce.

With new approval from the Colorado Board of Nursing to operate in the state, the company is launching a pilot to provide on-demand certification courses for working adults looking to train as certified nursing assistants. Enrollment is now open for the first cohort of students to participate in the certificate program, which will be offered tuition-free for those who complete by December 15.

“As Colorado faces a major shortage of skilled health care workers, communities need access to high quality, low cost and convenient training and job placement options,” said Chris Hedrick, founder and CEO of NextStep Interactive. “We’re working hand-in-hand with long term care and senior living providers to meet the needs of health care employers and aspiring health care professionals alike. We chose Colorado as our pilot state because of the tremendous openness to innovation here both in business and in government.”

With an aging U.S. population, health care jobs are growing at significantly faster rates than the broader economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, six out of ten of the fastest growing jobs in the United States are in the health care industry, where jobs such as certified nursing assistants are projected to grow 41 percent by 2026.

Through courses delivered on mobile devices in 10-15 minute modules, the NextStep program is designed to help working adults complete the training and licensure requirements needed to unlock careers as certified nursing assistants. The mobile modules are supplemented by in-person practice sessions at the new NextStep training lab in Denver and by clinical experiences with employer partners. Workers not only receive training, but also benefit from an industry-recognized certification and automatic job placement services at Colorado long-term care and senior living facilities.

The NextStep platform screens potential learners to find those with personal characteristics that suggest a strong fit for health care professions. Later this month, NextStep will also launch a continuing education service aimed at helping mid-career certified nursing assistants hone their skills.

“At a time when certified nursing assistant vacancies are going unfilled across the state, this initiative is pioneering a transformative new approach to supporting and upskilling Colorado’s health care workforce,” said Laura Landwirth, President and CEO of Leading Age Colorado, the largest association of senior living and care providers in Colorado. “NextStep aims to help to build a pipeline of highly-qualified workers for senior living and home health care providers in our state, closing skills gaps and improving quality and access to care.”

About NextStep Interactive: NextStep Interactive is creating next-generation technology and learning solutions to meet the needs of the health care industry. NextStep has operations in Seattle, WA and Bozeman, MT. For more information, visit

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