In 2002, the Abell Foundation hired a consultant to identify high-growth/high-shortage positions at the Johns Hopkins Health System that could be filled by Baltimore City residents. The consultant ultimately obtained data on all 690 positions that require an Associates of Arts (AA) degree or less by Hopkins and three additional hospitals: Sinai, Mercy, and the University of Maryland Medical System. That work led to the creation of the Baltimore Healthcare Coalition, a group of more than 70 representatives of health care organizations, foundations, federal and state government agencies, educational institutions, and other nonprofit organizations working collectively to address unemployment, underemployment, and health care workforce shortage issues in Baltimore City. In the fall of 2005, the coalition was renamed the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (BACH) and became a nonprofit organization.
BACH has found that many Baltimore City residents lack the requisite skills to fill high growth health care positions and that many health care institution employees cannot meet the entry requirements for health care training programs. Thus, BACH has focused on providing career coaching and training to healthcare institutions. In 2014, BACH offered small grants to support the salaries of career coaches in six participating healthcare institutions in an effort to improve retention and advancement of frontline workers in entry-level skilled healthcare jobs. Of the 344 individuals who received coaching services, nearly half enrolled into skills training programs and almost all (96 percent) remained employed for one year.