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Age Of Public Health Professionals Employed By State And Local Agencies

Hawai‘i’s Public Health Workforce Outlook

In Hawai‘i, the public health workforce is older. Most state and local government workers are mid-career and advanced professionals between the ages of 31 and 60 + years old. Mid-career professionals can assume vacancies as the older generation retires or nears retirement age. We need early and mid-career professionals to join Hawai‘i’s public health workforce as the older generations retire or leave their positions.

Below are findings from a governmental public health workforce survey that shows the age of professionals from the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (HI-DOH) and state government agencies across the US (PH WINS, 2021). HI-DOH employees tend to be older – 51 years and older (54%), followed by 31-50-year-olds (40%), and only 6% are 31 years and younger work. Hawai‘i’s public health workforce, particularly in the public sector, is older when compared to the national percentage.

Age of Public Health Professionals employed by State and Local Agencies
Age of Public Health Professionals employed by State and Local Agencies. More than half of State of Hawai‘i public health professionals are aged 51 and older, higher than the national average.

We will need more younger and mid-career professionals to join Hawai‘i’s public health workforce and fill job openings. Recent graduates and early career public health professionals need work experience and mentorship to meet the basic requirements to join the public health workforce. Workers from non-public health backgrounds or transplanted from the continental US and abroad need training to learn about public health or our local cultures and communities.

Programs such as CDC’s Public Health Associate’s Program (PHAP), fellowship positions, AmeriCorps, and internship programs are career development opportunities for recent graduates, early career, and those wishing to transition into the public health workforce. HIPHI’s Public Health Training Hui also provides regular webinars based on current local trends or in-demand topics.

To learn more about HIPHI’s internship and AmeriCorps VISTA program, visit our informational page here.

Rie Kuhaulua, PsyD, MPH

Rie Kuhaulua, PsyD, MPH

Public Health Workforce Development Program Manager
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