Creative Problem Solving 101

Problem-solving is a topic that is often covered in the business world – whether you are reading a book, blog, magazine, or attending a conference. However, there are creative ways to approach problem-solving that aren’t often – if ever – covered. At Loretto, we just received a grant to implement a creative solution I’d love to share with you.

One of the challenges we face in the healthcare industry is a staffing shortage – and it shows no sign of getting any easier. At any given time, Loretto has an estimated 200 job openings available. The demand to find an adequate workforce puts a consistent strain on Loretto’s administration and, at times, on its operations.

At the same time, there are several individuals who are justice-involved that are searching and having trouble securing a job. These individuals face a plethora of barriers to economic participation, from the content of their criminal records to transportation needed to attain and maintain employment.

The solution? An employee-based re-entry program. Loretto will collaborate with the local Center for Community Alternatives (CCA), CenterStateCEO HealthTrain, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) to fund the expansion of associated activities in the formation of a pipeline of job-ready workers who would ultimately fill a variety of positions throughout Loretto’s campuses. Funding from the Alliance for Economic Inclusion will help us provide the framework and sustain the program.

For the sake of blog space, I’ll spare you the details, but the big picture is that each individual will have a designated Life Coach, or program liaison, whose primary goal is that individual’s progress. By providing a designated position to provide ongoing support, the longevity and success rate of this program will be improved, but also, the local community’s various resources will be drawn together in a way that brings overarching unification.

It may seem like the benefit here is to two parties – Loretto and justice-involved individuals. However, the community as a whole also benefits because, as a result of this solution, the community receives a sustained quality of healthcare, it gives people a second chance, and improves the local economy, to name a few.

The purpose of my sharing is to inspire you to search for creative solutions in your community. There may be grants available to help you fund initiatives that help you, and others, generate solutions while making your surrounding community an even better place.