Abstract: Minority low-income post-secondary young women often manifest behaviors that make them at risk for unemployment. Emphasis on Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) suggests that jobs foster important non-medical health improvement via meaningful work. Work force programs facilitate employment and a next step is to address job retention. Employment procurement and continuation of 37 adolescent and young adult women who completed course work/practicum for health professions were assessed. We attempted to answer the following: What are the behavioral factors subsequent to hiring that influence job retention; Can program linkages and equity strategies mitigate negative forces. Finally, can a program linked to a medical home, address risk components that affect job retention?
Methods: Data analysis used two methodologies to evaluate retention outcomes. First, for qualitative assessment, content analysis documented the internal validity and reliability of job retention themes. Quantitative measures calculated the prevalence and scope of risk factors and their impact on program retention.
Results: Of the followed participants, only 10 or 27% were hired and still employed 4 to 6 months later. Findings suggest that participants even with stable employment had to overcome chronic negative SDOH that had the potential to affect job retention.
Conclusions: The assessment identified chronic housing, financial, transportation and personal relationships that had the potential to impact job retention, many of which were identified at initial enrolment. Follow up data also suggests that linkages to professional social support from therapists should be maintained subsequent to hire address potential behaviors that do not support work force expectations. To maximize success for underserved women linkage to the program’s medical home provides a trusted job portal and is easily accessible to mitigate situational risks to job retention and to receive primary preventive medical care.