GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX)- According to healthcare workers, the global pandemic is causing a labor shortage in the medical field. Community Hospital is experiencing this first hand and is looking to fill 96 positions.

Jobs are open in multiple departments, including the intensive care unit. A number of them are entry level, but Community Hospital does not want to sacrifice quality for the sake of urgency.

“While they may be more entry-level in healthcare and they still require a level of education certification and then we have a number of requisitions for registered nurses,” Amy Jordan, Community Hospital’s Vice President of Human Resources, clarifies.

Of the positions open at the hospital, a number of them are for certified nurse aides. CNA positions are often healthcare workers’ first jobs in the field, but those positions require experience.

The Western Colorado Area Health Education Center serves as a segue for men and women to get the training and exposure needed for the workplace. The non-profit will use the $2 million grant for resources to grow its program.

The main goal is to prepare students for careers in medical assistance.

“We’re finding really great luck in getting them employed,” WCAHEC Executive Director Georgia Hoaglund shares, “If they’re working at a facility, and they would like to be promoted, step up, and be a certified nurse aide, we can do some incumbent worker training as well.”

The need to fill these positions is just getting started. Mesa County Workforce Center expects to see a 17 percent increase in healthcare occupations over the next 10 years.

Positions are also open at St. Mary’s Medical Center and Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center.