In 2017, the Alaska Primary Care Association formed a partnership with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to start an Health Apprenticeship Program focusing on new employees at Alaska’s Community Health Centers. Grant funding was awarded to the APCA, which allowed us to launch apprenticeships in several health professions. Today, the APCA is a multi-agency sponsor for Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Certified Billing & Coding Specialist, Electronic Health Records Specialist, and Community Health Workers. The the SC Alaska AHEC of the APCA manages these programs.
The SC Alaska AHEC understands that the health workforce shortage in Alaska can be challenging for Community Health Centers and all Alaskan health care facilities. One way we can make a difference is in the area of “grow your own” – knowing that people from Alaskan communities who can find a good job, with fulfilling career advancement are likely to stay in those jobs for a longer time. This is good for the individual, the CHC, and for the community. The APCA Apprenticeship program will require that the apprentice be employed, have a dedicated mentor, and experience both didactic and on the job learning.
Exams at the end of the apprenticeships will be proctored both distantly and in the APCA office. APCA will also provide apprenticeship peer learning and support – and mentor peer learning and support. Finally, all of the didactic instruction will be delivered via distance learning technology. Community Health Centers will benefit from the apprentice from the beginning, enjoying the increasing level of skills and responsibility accrued over the course of the apprenticeship.
Alaska PCA Apprenticeship Program Case Study–NACHC
Apprenticeship Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for these Health Care Apprenticeships?
Individuals must be employed at the health care facility that will provide the On-the-Job-Learning (OJL) and mentoring portion of their Registered Apprenticeship. The ideal apprentice is someone who is fairly new to their job or is taking on a few role/responsibility in their organization where the Registered Apprenticeship will help her/him advance in their organization.
I am not employed but would like to work as a Health Care Apprentice. How do I find one?
You must first be employed in order to work as a Health Care Apprentice so someone who is currently unemployed would have to first find employment, then work together with their new employer to register for one of our Apprenticeship programs. Many of Alaska’s Community Health Centers provide apprenticeship training for their new employees. Providence Alaska Medical Center and the High Utilizer Mat-Su Program has recently started working with APCA to train Community Health Workers as Registered Apprentices.
I am a health care, behavioral health or human services employer who would like our new employees to be trained or cross trained using the Apprenticeship model. Is this program right for me?
We can train entry level employees as Apprenticeship Model as Medical Assistants, Administrative Assistants, Billing Coding Specialists, Electronic Health Records Specialists, or Community Health Workers.
First, download the work process schedule (below) for the job category of interest. Make sure the wage scale will work for your organization.
How do I interpret the wage scale listed on the Appendix A or “details of the apprenticeship” document?
As a part of the Apprenticeship agreement, the employer must pay their Apprentice at least the amount listed on the wage scale to start and at the end of the Apprenticeship. All Apprentices must get an increase in pay midway through their Apprenticeship.
View each apprenticeship below to download a sample course syllabus and the details of the apprenticeship (also known as work process schedule) for each job category.
For questions about the APCA Apprenticeship Program, contact:
Louise Crago, Health Professionals Program Manager