The Worker Education & Resource Center (WERC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers high quality workforce development programs for workers to improve their skills and prepare for high demand occupations in the public healthcare sector. At this unprecedented historical moment, WERC is preparing the Los Angeles county workforce to meet the increased demand generated by the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. WERC is committed to supporting the transformation to a preventative, primary care, culturally competent healthcare safety net system.
WERC’s staff have years of experience identifying emerging workforce needs, creating customized curricula, and providing skill enhancement and basic skills courses that meet the needs of both workers and employers. The organization also functions as a workforce intermediary, coordinating the interests and assets of employers, unions, educational providers, and community-based organizations to create career pathway programs that lead to industry-recognized certificates and degrees.
WERC was initially established in 2002 by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721 to partner with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS) and operate the Los Angeles Healthcare Workforce Development Program (HCWDP). HCWDP’s career path programs are available to approximately 22,000 workers in four public hospitals, seven comprehensive health centers, and numerous community clinics.
In recent years, WERC has also partnered with other organizations to provide training and education for high demand green careers such as water efficiency, green building retrofit, and green waste reduction, cleaning, and energy efficiency in hospitals.