Health Care Registered Apprenticeship
Alaska’s growing demand for health care services has resulted in shortages of qualified employees for many health care facilities and providers. Registered Apprenticeship is helping to close that gap. Alaska currently has over 250 registered apprentices in a dozen health care occupations, with over 50 participating employers across the state.
Apprentices are employees – they “earn while they learn,” with a paycheck and benefits. Apprentices learn their skills through two components: 1) hands-on training at a medical facility under the supervision of a qualified mentor; and 2) related technical instruction delivered either online, self-study, or in a classroom setting. As an apprentice’s skill level increases, wages increase progressively. After completing an apprenticeship, journey-level status and certificate are recognized nationally. Health care apprentices may also be earning various industry credentials during their training. There may be opportunities for apprentices to also earn college credit for their classroom and on-the-job learning.
Registered apprenticeship is a highly flexible employer-driven workforce development solution that combines on-the-job learning with related instruction and paid work experience that increases as the employee’s skill increases. Registered apprenticeship is a proven solution for businesses to recruit, train and retain highly skilled workers while developing their workforce for the 21st century. Registered apprenticeship allows employers to establish the standards of proficiency, while developing a local and loyal workforce.
Health Care Apprenticeship Advisory Board
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development hosts an ad hoc advisory board made up of health care apprenticeship sponsors. The board meets every other month to share information on programs, best practices, opportunities, etc.
USDOL Apprenticeship Funding Support
American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) Grant (10/1/15 – 9/30/20)
Alaska DOLWD received a five-year $3M grant to implement health care registered apprenticeship programs, with the goal of 450 new health care apprentices. We are over halfway to our goal with 3 years remaining in the grant. The grant supports a full-time DOLWD Apprenticeship Coordinator as well as various apprenticeship program development activities.
State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant (11/1/16 – 4/30/18)
Alaska DOLWD received an 18-month $700K grant to expand health care apprenticeships, with the goal of 110 new apprentices. Our main partner in this grant, Alaska Primary Care Association, exceeded that overall goal within the first few months, and they continue to expand their four new apprenticeship programs.
Apprenticeship Accelerator Grant (6/1/16 – 5/30/18)
Alaska DOLWD received a two-year $200K grant to develop a state apprenticeship plan. The plan is in the draft stages and will be finalized by summer of 2018.
Sector Partnership National Emergency Grant (SP-NEG) (7/1/15 – 6/30/18)
Alaska DOLWD received a three-year $3M grant to serve dislocated workers and undertake regional planning in specific industry sectors including health care. The grant has supported planning efforts for health care registered apprenticeship programs as well as training and support services for apprentices, dislocated workers, and transitioning service members.