ters promote a variety of general workforce development strategies, although the CDC-funded centers place a heavier emphasis on bioterrorism preparedness.
Given the importance of the workforce in carrying out the mission of public health, the committee finds that education and development of the current workforce must continue to be a fundamental priority within the broader efforts to improve the state and local public health infrastructure. Therefore, the committee recommends that all federal, state, and local governmental public health agencies develop strategies to ensure that public health workers who are involved in the provision of essential public health services demonstrate mastery of the core public health competencies appropriate to their jobs. The Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice should also encourage the competency development of public health professionals working in public health system roles in for-profit and nongovernmental entities.
To facilitate ongoing workforce development, the committee encourages public health agencies to engage in training partnerships with academia to ensure the availability of coordinated, continuous, and accessible systems of education. These systems should be capable of addressing a variety of workforce training needs, ranging from education on the basic competencies to continuing education for individuals in the specialized professional disciplines of public health science.
Furthermore, the committee recommends that Congress designate funds for CDC and HRSA to periodically assess the preparedness of the public health workforce, to document the training necessary to meet basic competency expectations, and to advise on the funding necessary to provide such training.
Senior public health officials must have the preparation not only to manage a government agency but also to provide guidance to the workforce with regard to health goals or priorities, interact with stakeholders and constituency groups, provide policy direction to a governing board, and interact with other agencies at all levels of government whose actions and decisions affect the population whose health they are trying to assure (Turnock, 2000). These tasks require a unique and demanding set of talents: professional expertise in the specific subject area; substantive expertise in the content and values of public health; and competencies in the core skills of leadership. Those who have mastery of the skills to mobilize, coordinate, and direct broad collaborative actions within the complex public health system must lead in implementing the actions outlined in this report. They require the skills for vision, communication, and implementa-