OhanaHealth, a health tech job placement company, today announced its new platform OhanaConnect to connect candidates with companies.
The service works specifically to match students and recent graduates with internships and full-time jobs in the health tech industry.
“Healthcare is relevant to every person on the planet and frankly, it’s one of the most important opportunities of our lifetime,” said Daniel Oppong, the founder of OhanaHealth, in a statement. “I started OhanaHealth with one goal: to make it easier for students and recent graduates to find jobs and ultimately create a better future. Previously, as talent director at health-focused venture capital fund Jumpstart Foundry, I consistently had students reach out for help finding a job in the healthcare space, and one theme was consistently clear: students were interested in health and healthcare, but didn’t want to become doctors or nurses.”
Starting today, prospective candidates can sign up and create a profile on OhanaConnect. The platform allows for personalization by giving users the option to search based on skills and interests.
The company also announced updates to its fellowship program, which offers personal and professional development, networking opportunities and learning experiences. The program will be a mix of hands-on projects and workshops with former OhanaHealth fellows and other leaders in the health tech industry.
Applications for the OhanaHealth Fellowship Program are currently live, with a December deadline for submission. Twenty students will be selected to participate in the 2021 program.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Increasing unemployment rates have been a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, the U.S. unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 14.7%. Since then, the rate has begun to decrease, with July’s unemployment rate coming in at 10.2%. However, even with that improvement the unemployment rate is still up 6.7% from the time before the pandemic.
Recent graduates are also experiencing record-breaking unemployment as a result of COVID-19. In June, the unemployment rate for recent graduates in the U.S. was 13.3%, compared to 3.8% in both February 2020 and June 2019.
Even before COVID-19, young grads struggled to get a job. Between 1989 and 2019, both the unemployment rate and the idled rate – those who are neither employed nor enrolled in further schooling – has increased, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute.
The report also shows that white college graduates have a higher employment rate than their minority counterparts. In 2019, 81% of white graduates were employed compared to 77.3% of Hispanic graduates, 76% of Black graduates and 59.8% of Asian American/Pacific Islander graduates.
Since the start of the OhanaHealth Fellowship Program in 2017, more than 1,000 students and recent graduates have applied, representing 120 diverse universities, according to the company.
THE LARGER TREND
While OhanaHealth works to place candidates in nonclinical healthcare jobs, there are several other job-placement companies that target clinical settings.
NextStep Interactive focuses on training new workers digitally, in particular individuals who have lost their jobs because of new technology. It specifically focuses on health-related jobs, such as nurse aids and home health aids. Last August, it raised $3 million in funding.
Nomad Health has a platform that connects doctors and nurses to freelance clinical work. It also closed a funding round last August, worth $34 million.
Wheel, which was formerly Enzyme Health, is a vendor of telehealth services and staffing. In January, the company launched under its new name, along with $13.9 million in Series A funding.
ON THE RECORD
“The relevance of health and healthcare is apparent – especially in light of the pandemic,” Oppong said in a statement. “Students can see themselves in the OhanaHealth story. We help them take the next major step in their lives – starting or furthering their career. As a Black founder, I want to make opportunities accessible for graduates from Ivy Leagues to HBCUs. This challenge has never been more pressing than now when more than 30 million in this country are unemployed.”