Public Health Workforce Self-Identified Training Needs by Jurisdiction and Job Type

Valerie A. Yeager, Janna M. Wisniewski, Theresa Chapple-Mcgruder, Brian C. Castrucci, Elizabeth Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Context: Ensuring adequate and appropriate training of the workforce is a crucial priority for governmental public health. This is particularly important, given the diverse backgrounds of the public health workforce; the vast majority (approximately 83%) do not have formal training in public health, and those that do have formal training in public health have limited training in management and other essential organizational skills. Objective: The purpose of this article is to identify training needs among public health workers in specific job types and settings. Design and Participants: This cross section study used 2014 data from the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey. Qualitative analyses were used to code open-ended responses to questions about training needs. Needs are stratified across job types and jurisdiction. Results: Eight main themes or skill areas were identified with the largest proportion indicating a need for management/leadership skills (28.2%). The second most frequent need was communication skills (21.3%). Across the 9 job types examined, general management skills were either the first or second training need for 7 job types. Among individuals who already have leadership/management positions, budgeting was the most common training need. Conclusions: Findings from this study can inform targeted strategies to address training needs for specific types of employees. Such strategies can influence the efficiency and effectiveness of public health efforts and employee satisfaction. As new public health frameworks-like Public Health 3.0 and the Chief Health Strategist-are advanced nationally, it is necessary to ensure that the workforce has the skills and abilities to implement these frameworks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • public health
  • training
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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