GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An organization that represents health care systems in Michigan has launched a new campaign aimed at drawing people into the health care field.

MI Hospital Careers will work with high school and college students, as well as people already in the workforce, to provide information about health care jobs and training.

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association, the group behind the effort, said its goal is to help fill some of the 27,000 open jobs in hospitals across the state.

“We had a health care workforce challenge on our hands even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and of course the pandemic made matters even worse because we had quite a few folks who maybe were planning to work a few more years until retirement really escalate those plans and in some case leave the health care field for another job in some other sector of the economy,” MHA CEO Brian Peters told News 8. “The bottom line is we are now seeing the end result, which is access challenges for patients and families throughout the state of Michigan. And so we are now very seriously focused on growing our health care workforce both today and into the future.”

He noted that as Baby Boomers age out of the workforce, health care will have fewer workers even as more people need geriatric care.

“We’d really like young folks to consider health care as a career,” he said, going on to say that the new MI Hospital Careers has a lot of information about those careers and education resources.

Hospitals are looking for doctors and nurses, but also nonclinical jobs, like environmental services, food services, lawyers and accountants. MHA says hospital workers average a yearly income of $65,000 and often have competitive benefits and extra support like help paying for training and access to day care.