The COVID-19 pandemic is causing rapid and long-lasting changes to workforce planning. The way in which Community Health Centers (CHCs) train, recruit, and retain their staff is changing given the evolving environment. The lessons learned from reorganizing teams and reassessing organizational designs is creating a new mindset for developing the healthcare workforce. It requires leaders to focus on the needs of today, while also focusing on the needs of tomorrow. It is also encouraging health centers to take a multipronged and multidisciplinary approach to developing a diverse workforce that reflects its community.

Strategic Workforce Planning Program

CPCA, with the support of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), developed a certificate program as part of a national initiative to increase and enhance the development of strategic workforce plans in CHC).

The Strategic Workforce Planning certification program is based on HCI’s (Human Capital Institute’s) industry-recognized Strategic Workforce Planning certification program but tailored to the unique needs of CHCs. The inaugural cohort of 41 participants from community health centers and regional clinic associations will obtain a professional development opportunity, in-depth knowledge on strategic workforce planning, a certificate, and professional credits (if eligible).


What is a strategic workforce plan?

Strategic workforce planning is the process of defining and deploying mission-critical talent needed to align a CHC strategically with future goals and objectives. It’s about getting the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time to support the CHC’s business strategy now and in the future. Strategic workforce planning is an agile, dynamic, and data-informed process designed to help organizations forecast and plan the workforce they will need to be successful in the next 3-5 years. It offers a methodology for meeting organizational objectives through scenario planning and aims to develop and sustain a robust and diverse health center workforce.

According to the 2021 CPCA Workforce Development Survey, a total of 57 CHC organization respondents have a strategic workforce plan. Of those who have a plan, most focus on recruitment and retention with the goal of increasing employee satisfaction and decreasing turnover.

Why is strategic workforce planning so important?

Skill gaps and shortages. Flight risks and turnover. An aging workforce. Changing business models. The list of workforce challenges is endless. Developing a strategic workforce plan and maintaining it over time as an organization evolves provides a clear and actionable framework for addressing these challenges in ways that keep the organization on track toward achieving its strategic objectives.

Strategic Workforce Planning Resources

Included below are recordings to previous trainings and additional resources that CHCs can take advantage of to build on their adaptability efforts and meet their workforce needs while navigating through the pandemic legacies.

Available Trainings



  • Nataly Tellez, Director of Health Center Operations,
  • Isaias Iniguez, Associate Director of Workforce Development & Special Populations,

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $4,398,941 with 0% percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit