AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, a national leader in Medicaid managed care and other health care solutions for those most in need, was recently recognized for its innovative approaches to building and developing its workforce with a HIRE Award from Innovate+Educate. AmeriHealth Caritas, one of five recipients of the inaugural award, accepted the honor at Innovate+Educate’s Close It Summit on Nov. 6 at the Capitol Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

AmeriHealth Caritas received the award for its workforce hiring and development strategy, which strengthens the company by finding quality talent from often overlooked channels and helps fulfill its mission to build strong, healthy communities by improving educational opportunities. Working with internal and external partners, AmeriHealth Caritas has implemented the following initiatives, among others, that opened work and education opportunities to those who otherwise might not have had them:

• Partnering with Philadelphia Works and Pennsylvania CareerLink to find, recruit, train and hire 104 unemployed or underemployed workers since February 2012 for claims examiner, customer service representative and provider claims representative positions, generating more than $1.7 million of increased economic activity in the Philadelphia area;

• Through a partnership with the Philadelphia Youth Network, hiring 55 at-risk Philadelphia high school students since 2007 for an internship program that provides participants with valuable workforce skills;

• Awarding nearly 900 scholarships worth almost $2 million since 1988 to its Pennsylvania members through its Member Scholarship program, helping those members pursue trade certifications or college degrees; and

• Participating in job fairs like the one at the 2013 National Urban League Conference in Philadelphia, which resulted in the hiring of seven employees interviewed at the event.

Winners were selected by an expert panel of judges from the Society for Human Resource Management, U.S. News & World Report, Jobs for the Future, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the National Association of Workforce Boards, Innovate+Educate and independent human resources experts.

“Employers that utilize local talent will be able to better serve those communities.

At AmeriHealth Caritas, we think outside of the box when it comes to finding and recruiting that talent. And at the same time, by hiring and helping to educate local people, we are helping put money back into those communities, which helps make them stronger and healthier,” said Beth Reeves, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for AmeriHealth Caritas. “We are pleased that Innovate+Educate is recognizing this effort that better serves our customers and improves the neighborhoods they live in.”

Innovate+Educate aims to create solutions that build multiple, validated pathways from education to employment, thereby closing the skills gap. Its inaugural HIRE Awards are designed to recognize innovations in hiring and workforce development.