Prioritizing Workforce Development Training in State Health Departments Using TRAIN: Challenges and Opportunities

Magali Angeloni*, Ron Bialek, Michael P. Petros, Michael C. Fagen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: The objectives of this study were (1) to obtain data on the current status of public health workforce training and the use of the Training Finder Real-Time Affiliate Network (TRAIN), a public health learning management platform, in state health departments, and (2) to use the data to identify organizational features that might be affecting training and to determine barriers to and opportunities for improving training. Methods: We conducted structured interviews in 2014 with TRAIN administrators and performance improvement managers (n = 14) from 7 state health departments that were using TRAIN to determine training practices and barriers to training. We determined key organizational features of the 7 agencies, including training structure, required training, TRAIN administrators’ employment status (full time or part time), barriers to the use and tracking of core competencies in TRAIN, training needs assessment methods, leadership support of training and staff development, and agency interest in applying for Public Health Accreditation Board accreditation. Results: We identified 4 common elements among TRAIN-affiliated state health departments: (1) underuse of TRAIN as a training tool, (2) inadequate ownership of training within the organization, (3) insufficient valuation of and budgeting for training, and (4) emerging collaboration and changing perceptions about training stimulated by agency preparation for accreditation. Conclusions: Public health leaders can increase buy-in to the importance of training by giving responsibility for training to a person, centralizing training, and setting expectations for the newly responsible training leader to update training policy and require the use of TRAIN to develop, implement, evaluate, monitor, and report on agency-wide training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalPublic health reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • TRAIN administrator
  • accreditation
  • core competencies
  • performance improvement manager
  • public health
  • public health professionals
  • training
  • workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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