Fremont, CA: NextStep, job placement, and mobile-based training company collected a $3.6 million investment from a fundraising round. Investors who led the round are mainly focused on the sector of health and education technology, including Springrock Ventures, JAZZ Venture Partners, and the managing directors of Pioneer Square Labs and Learn Capital’s LearnStart fund. The company is aiming to radically broaden the supply of qualified Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) to tackle the nation’s caregiver shortage crisis. NextStep’s investment round was led by Springrock Ventures and Morbeck, who will also join the NextStep board of directors.
“Our health care system was already facing profound skills gaps well before the outbreak of COVID-19, and now those shortfalls are in sharp relief as our nation’s health care workers fight this global pandemic,” said Chris Hedrick, CEO of NextStep. “By tapping the potential and strengths of displaced talent, we can bolster the health care workforce and offer millions of workers a pathway to sustainable and fulfilling careers-at a time when our country needs it most.”
As history has suggested, the surges in unemployment stemming from the pandemic COVID-19 have displaced employees in retail, service, and hospitality industries. These sectors are facing acute economic hardship as more and more people file for unemployment. The demand for health care jobs also has spiked, and it continues to grow broader as the economy enters recession as the nation’s healthcare system continues to undergo unprecedented strain.
NextStep’s unique program, offered for free to students and supported by employers, is assisting workers in distress situations such as Certified Nursing Assistants. Though courses delivered on remote devices in 10-15 minute modules that can be taken during the commute or after hours, displaced workers having experience in service and hospitality roles can opt for the same jobs in the healthcare industry with higher pay and potential for promotion.
“NextStep is led by an experienced and nimble executive team that knows how to create technology-enabled solutions to meet our healthcare workforce needs,” said John Harris, managing partner at JAZZ Venture Partners. “I can’t think of any company that is better suited to having a positive impact on society and businesses in a world shaped both by the COVID crisis and an aging population.”
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