Leadership and Partnerships

Workforce development is a cross-cutting activity that engages multiple agencies, organizations, and constituencies. The Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development (DSEPD) plays a lead role in bringing together partners with the shared goal of strengthening the public health workforce.

DSEPD partners within CDC, with other federal agencies, and with national organizations to share quality science, make data-driven decisions, support strategic workforce development. Our collaborative efforts help to build the foundational capabilities of public health and ensure that communities across the country have essential services for equitable health and well-being.

Increased federal investment has allowed us to implement several game-changing partnerships.

Public Health AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps and CDC have teamed up to launch Public Health AmeriCorps. The program helps to recruit, train, and develop the next generation of public health leaders, while building local capacity for advancing equitable health outcomes in communities that need it most.

What makes this program unique? It combines the expertise of CDC as the nation’s leading public health agency, with AmeriCorps’ success managing our most prominent public service and workforce development programs. Together, we will place thousands of emerging leaders in all corners of the country—including many people who may have never considered a career in public health.

The benefits work on multiple structural levels:

  • Get hands-on experience to start a fulfilling career path.
  • Communities gain technical expertise and a public health leadership pipeline.
  • The country builds a stronger and more diverse workforce that can swiftly respond to future public health challenges.

Strengthening U.S. Public Health Infrastructure, Workforce, and Data Systems Grant

This CDC grant program is a groundbreaking investment that supports critical public health infrastructure needs of jurisdictions across the United States. Funding from this grant will help ensure that every U.S. community has the people, services, and systems needed to promote and protect health. The grant creates a foundation for CDC’s public health infrastructure work and provides maximum flexibility so jurisdictions can address their most pressing needs. Ultimately, this program will lead to accelerated prevention, preparedness, and response to emerging health threats, and improved outcomes for other public health areas.

Developing New Programs for Enterprise Solutions

One way that DSEPD bridges internal and external partnerships is by serving as an incubator for program development with enterprise opportunities in mind.

A key example is the Data Science Upskilling (DSU) program.

  • DSU began as a DSEPD pilot program under CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative.
  • It is team-based and project-driven, focused on building up data science and informatics skills among CDC staff.
  • Giving staff a stronger foundation in analyzing and interpreting data also benefits the agency, unlocking a more highly skilled workforce to address the nation’s most pressing health priorities.
  • DSU proved successful. It was cost-effective, and it fostered collaboration through peer-to-peer learning.

Based on DSU’s success, DSEPD expanded the effort to state and local health departments.

  • We partnered with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists to launch the Data Science Team Training (DSTT) program.
  • DSTT is a team-based, on-the job training program. It’s designed to promote data science upskilling at state, territorial, local, and tribal public health agencies.
  • Learners in this 12-month program work collaboratively on projects that address current data modernization needs within their agencies.

Public Health Workforce Research Center

CDC and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) jointly funded a Public Health Workforce Research Center through HRSA’s Health Workforce Research Center Cooperative Agreement Program HRSA-22-054. The goal of the Public Health Workforce Research Center is to support and share rigorous, state-of-the-art, applied research that helps decision-makers at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels understand health workforce needs. The cooperative agreement was awarded to the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in September 2022. As the funded Public Health Workforce Research Center, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is leading a consortium consisting of academic member institutions and practice-oriented partner organizations. Learn more at Public Health Workforce Research Center.