About Division of Workforce Development

At a glance

The Division of Workforce Development (DWD) provides leadership in public health workforce development. This involves leading advancements in recruiting, training, developing and retaining the nation’s public health workforce. In this role, we chart a path forward at all levels of the public health system.

Epidemic Intelligence Service officers engage with CDC expert during media training.

What we do

We create pathways to careers in public health.

Our programs provide quality learning experiences across the workforce continuum. Programs range from opportunities for middle and high school STEM teachers; to internships for students; to service-learning career fellowships.

We upskill the current public health workforce.

We offer and promote quality training opportunities. We connect partners and health professionals with accredited, competency-based training from CDC, other federal agencies, and federally funded partners.

We build evidence of what works and promote use of best practices.

We support efforts to define and build evidence to address public health workforce needs. The Public Health Workforce Research Center is an example of how we build evidence.

We strategically partner to address workforce priorities.

We collaborate with national, state, tribal, local, and territorial organizations to advance shared interests in and garner support for public health.


Infographic displaying DWD's four goals: quality learning, valuable service, national leadership, and organizational capacity.
DWD Strategic Framework Infographic

Infographic displaying DWD's four goals: quality learning, valuable service, national leadership, and organizational capacity.

Goal 1: Quality Learning

Strengthen education, training, and professional development of the public health workforce.

  • Strengthen the skills of the current public health workforce through quality, accredited, competency-based training
  • Build a diverse public health workforce through applied fellowship programs
  • Promote career pathways in governmental public health through workforce development programs

Goal 2: Valuable Service

Improve public health impact through service and response.

  • Address needs of CDC programs, state, Tribal, local, and territorial health departments, public health labs, and partners through fellows’ service-learning assignments
  • Partner with CDC’s centers, institute, and offices in response to urgent domestic and international public health needs through short-term technical assistance

Goal 3: National Leadership

Provide leadership in public health workforce efforts.

  • Facilitate the use of standards and best practices for public health training and workforce development programs
  • Define public health workforce needs and build evidence to address identified needs
  • Strategically address workforce priorities with partners
  • Help tell the public health workforce story, therein expanding reach and awareness of challenges, opportunities, and outcomes

Goal 4: Organizational Capacity

Maximize DWDs potential for achieving impact.

  • Prioritize core work and ensure alignment of staff and resources
  • Strengthen the division’s foundational capabilities and cross-cutting servicesA
  • Support professional development for DWD staff
  • Foster excellence in the workplace, where purposeful deployment of inclusive practices are reflected in how we work together and the programs we deliver

Our impact

DWD's work attracts and maintains a steady flow of fellows ready to launch their public health careers. They provide critical capacity, support, and technical assistance to our public health partners.

We accredit, promote, and deliver quality learning opportunities for health professionals to improve health. These opportunities offer free CE credits—saving public health professionals millions of dollars in fees.

By the Numbers

  • More than 12,260Bparticipants trained in DWD's fellowship and student programs since the first EIS officers in 1951.
  • 883 participants trained in DWD’s fellowship and student programs in 2023C alone.
  • 43 responses to technical assistance requests from state, local, and national public health authorities in 2023C alone.
  • More than 5,780B responses to technical assistance requests from state, local, and national public health authorities since 1946.
  • More than 356,000 unique learners completed over 1 million coursesC in CDC TRAIN1.

Real Stories, Real Impact

Developing Future Leaders Through Fellowships

Head shot of Victoria Phifer, professional black woman with short black curly hair
Victoria Phifer, MPH

Victoria Phifer, MPH is a 2015 alum of the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program at CDC. Victoria worked as a Public Health Analyst in CDC's Washington, D.C. office. Victoria currently serves CDC as a Health Equity Officer for the National Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Public Health Infrastructure and Workforce.

Strengthening the Public Health Workforce through National Service

A group of five AmeriCorps members discuss their work outdoors.
Public Health AmeriCorps members discuss their work.

Public Health AmeriCorps is a groundbreaking initiative to support the recruitment, training, and development of the next generation of public health professionals. The program provides resources to advance more equitable health outcomes for communities. Grant funding is provided to organizations that recruit AmeriCorps members to serve at the forefront of public health.

Helping Public Health Agencies Solve Data Challenges

PHIFP fellow and mentor working together at a desk reviewing diagrams.
PHIFP fellows help public health agencies solve data challenges.

Health agencies can request short-term technical assistance for applied information science and technology through an Informatics Aid (Info-Aid). CDC's Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program (PHIFP) fellows provide the technical assistance and apply their expertise to investigate data management needs. For example, as a result of an Info-Aid, PHIFP fellows developed a data summarization and visualization tool to support the COVID-19 response in the World Health Organization African Region.

Our work

The Division of Workforce Development (DWD) offers services and support to state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments and partners.

Staffing Support through Fellow Assignments

Public health partners can apply to host a fellow from several of our programs. Our fellows lend a variety of skills to increase workforce capacity. Working alongside mentors and subject matter experts, fellows and interns gain experience for future public health careers. Find out how to become a host site for CDC fellowships.

Technical Assistance and Deployments

Public health partners can request short-term technical assistance from our fellows. During their deployment, fellows work closely with the jurisdiction's public health authorities and appropriate subject matter experts at CDC. This opportunity provides a mutual benefit for the fellows and the agency needing assistance.

Officials with authority for public health can request technical assistance through several mechanisms:


Allows rapid, short-term (1–3 weeks), generally onsite, technical assistance by Epidemic Intelligence Service officers. Request an Epi-Aid.


Allows rapid, short-term (1-3 weeks) support to public health labs for laboratory testing or operational needs by Laboratory Leadership Service fellows. Request a Lab-Aid.


Short-term technical assistance to address an urgent public health need for applied information science, through the Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program. Request an Info-Aid.

Our fellows also participate in emergency response or other urgent public health events. They can deploy to local communities or to CDC's Emergency Operations Center.

Support for Training Development and Accreditation

DWD provides resources to help public health partners develop quality trainings that improve staff competence and capacity. Training programs that meet CDC quality training standards can better prepare health professionals to meet today's challenges.


Have a question about fellowships, training services, or other public health workforce development activities? Ask us.

  1. Leadership, management, operations, communications, partnerships, and scientific quality (including evaluation).
  2. As of September 30, 2022
  3. October 2022 through September 2023
  1. CDC TRAIN is CDC's external learning management system—an affiliate of the Public Health Foundation's TRAIN Learning Network—available to learners across the public health community.