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The Southland Health Care Forum (SHCF) is front and center as we enter week 10 of our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series.  Recognized during the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent National Education and Action Summit as one of 71 programs from throughout the country which embody the 21st Century Vision for Registered Apprenticeship, SHCF is working to provide quality training for disadvantaged individuals seeking careers in the health care industry.

The SHCF, established in 2000, is a partnership of 10 community hospitals in the south suburbs of Chicago, Kankakee, and Joliet collaborating on an agenda of common issues including staffing shortages in the health professions.  Training includes opportunities to prepare for careers as a Certified Nurse Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse, Patient Care Technician, Dialysis Technician, Phlebotomist, Clinical Medical Assistant, and other allied health care positions. 

To help address health care worker shortages and increase opportunities in an area with high unemployment and limited career options, SHCF is working with local hospitals, clinics, and other health care agencies to provide training, internships, and employment opportunities to under-served populations in the region.  SHCF collaborates with numerous partners to reach a wide variety of potential participants.  Partners include, but are not limited to, the Coalition of African American Nurses (CAAN) Academy of Nursing, Illinois Dept. Of Health and Human Services, Prairie State College,  Southland Hispanic Leadership Council, South-Southwest Suburban United Way, Illinois Dept. of Employment Security, regional employers, and U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Representatives from SHCF attended the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Education and Action Summit in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.  During the August 1 ceremony, representatives were presented with a Trailblazer and Innovator Recognition Certificate presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Administrator of Apprenticeship John V. Ladd.

Chief Executive Officer of SHCF, Jennifer Artis commented on the Forum’s efforts and the role Registered Apprenticeship is playing to help ensure the initiative’s success.

“Our goal within SHCF is to provide career opportunities for under-served populations to ensure well trained individuals are able to help fill the worker shortages facing much of the health care industry,” said Ms. Artis.  “Registered Apprenticeship is helping us professionalize certain health care occupations and the Department of Labor-approved certification apprentices earn will provide them with solid credentials that offer upward mobility and career options that weren’t previously available to them.”    

For more on SHCF, be sure to download the Southland Health Care Forum Trailblazer and Innovator Fact Sheet.  Also, for more on the Registered Apprenticeship opportunities SHCF has to offer, be sure to visit:  http://www.southlandhealthcareforum.org/.

As we enter week five of our Trailblazer and Innovator Spotlight series we take a look at the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation’s (ACFEF) apprenticeship program with the U.S. Army.  The U.S. Army - American Culinary Federation partnership was highlighted during our “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate Education and Action Summit in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.

In 2010, the ACFEF National Standards for the program were approved and registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.  This partnership began as an effort to raise the level of foodservice training opportunities available to U.S. soldiers.  The program now has more than 500 soldiers currently enrolled and operates in five pilot installations. The apprenticeship program is expected to be offered Army-wide in the near future.  The program, known as the 92G Credentialing Apprenticeship program, offers on-the-job training and related instruction that leads to certification with the ACF.  

The American Culinary Federation (ACF) was founded in 1929 in New York City and has always focused on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.  In 1976 they were able to elevate the position of the executive chef from service status to the professional category in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Official Titles.  Today, ACF is the largest professional chef’s organization in North America, with more than 20,000 members across the United States.

At the August 1, National Education and Action Summit, the partnership was represented by Kristy Nelson, MNM, Director of Education and Professional Development for ACF; and Mark Warren, CEC, AAC, for the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence SGM at the U.S. Army.  Ms. Nelson and Mr. Warren accepted a Certificate of Recognition as a Registered Apprenticeship Trailblazer and Innovator presented by John Ladd, Administrator, Office of Apprenticeship, and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

“The fact that the partnership between the U.S. Army and ACF has been recognized is truly momentous,” said CW5 David Longstaff, CEC, AAC, U.S. Army Foodservice Advisor. “It validates the efforts of the U.S. Army and ACF, through this partnership, to train and certify soldiers within the foodservice program.”

For more on the ACFEF-U.S. Army apprenticeship program, we encourage you to download and share the American Culinary Federation Education Fund / U.S. Army Apprenticeship program fact sheet Also be sure to visit http://www.acfchefs.org for more on apprenticeship opportunities.   

We kick off week six of our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series with a look at the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP).  USMAP is a formal military training program that provides Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy service members the opportunity to advance their job skills and earn a Registered Apprenticeship Completion Certificate while still on active duty.

The program offers active duty service members the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship in one of 124 apprenticeable occupations.  Currently there are nearly 64,000 active apprentices enrolled.  Service members are able to choose the trade they pursue as long as it relates to their military occupation.  Upon completion of the program, participants receive a nationally recognized Completion Certificate to help attract employers when a service member returns to the civilian workforce.

USMAP was established in 1999 through the consolidation of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Naval apprenticeship programs.  By 2007, the U.S. Coast Guard was also added, expanding Registered Apprenticeship opportunities to more service members. 

The ability to complete an apprenticeship while still on active-duty is a great opportunity that gives participants a head-start on beginning a civilian career and helps ensure U.S. service members have the skills employers are looking for.  In FY 2011, 5,388 service members completed their apprenticeship requirements and earned a Completion Certificate.

“The partnership that we’ve forged with the DOL clearly demonstrates that our certified Sailors are on-par with their skilled civilian counterparts working in industry,” said Capt. John Newcomer, Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD) Commanding Officer. “USMAP is part of CPPD’s voluntary education program, which is a conduit for equipping Sailors with strong analytical skills, the ability to make informed decisions and avenues to pursue their life-long educational and credentialing goals. I strongly encourage all Sailors to take full advantage of these opportunities, including participation in USMAP.  Earning the DOL certificate costs the service member nothing, does not normally require working additional off-duty hours, and benefits the service member as well as the command.”

The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program was recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator Registered Apprenticeship program during the August 1 “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate” National Education and Action Summit at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act. 

We encourage you to read the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program Fact Sheet for more information.  Also, for more on the Registered Apprenticeship opportunities available through USMAP, be sure to visit: https://usmap.cnet.navy.mil/usmapss/static/usmap.jsp. 

In Week 9 of our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series we take a look at the Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Coastal Region’s Community Health Worker Registered Apprenticeship program.  A Community Health Worker serves as a bridge between the community and health care system.  Community Health Workers are trained to deliver needed health information to the community so that individuals can take control of, and improve their health. 

The Texas AHEC Coastal Region is a cooperative effort between the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Coastal AHEC, Inc.  The Coastal AHEC focuses on improving the health of members of the community, with an emphasis on reaching the underserved, by creating partnerships among community and academic organizations to build and strengthen community-based education programs.

The occupation of Community Health Worker continues to grow.  The position was only recently recognized as an apprenticeable occupation and is becoming increasingly important in efforts to assist underserved populations to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.  The Community Health Worker apprenticeship program offers a 1 year apprenticeship with 200 hours of didactic training and an additional 2000-2200 hours of on-the-job learning.  The training focuses on familiarization with the medical and social services community pertinent to the employer and region.

The Texas AHEC Coastal Region was recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator program for their efforts to professionalize this non-traditional occupation.  It was also recognized for their ability to help serve the needs of underserved populations, including the elderly, disabled, English-as-a-second language, and other populations in need of assistance in improving their access to quality health care services.

In August of this year, Executive Director of the Texas AHEC Coastal Region Leslie Hargrove was invited to Washington D.C. to represent the program during the Department of Labor’s National Education and Action Summit in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act.  Ms. Hargrove was presented with a Certificate of Recognition as a Trailblazer and Innovator program by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Administrator of Apprenticeship John V. Ladd.

Ms. Hargrove spoke on the importance of the Community Health Worker occupation and how apprenticeship is helping prepare workers in this important position.

“At the Texas AHEC we believe a Community Health Worker can be the critical connection between our underserved populations and access to quality healthcare.  Establishment of the Community Health Worker apprenticeship has enabled us to open doors for individuals looking for a career in health services.  We are excited to be recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator program and we hope this recognition helps increase the use of apprenticeship within the health care industry.”

To learn more on the Community Health Worker apprenticeship program, we encourage you to download and share the Texas Area Health Education Trailblazer and Innovator Fact Sheet.  For more on the Texas Area Health Education Center Coastal Region, please visit http://www.cahectx.org/index.html.

 

As we kick off week seven of our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series, we highlight one of the country’s premier apprenticeship programs: The Apprentice School located at Newport News Shipbuilding.  The Apprentice School, focusing on “Craftsmanship, Scholarship and Leadership,” trains apprentices in 19 shipbuilding trades and seven optional advanced programs including cost estimation, nuclear test technician, modeling and simulation and dimensional control.

Established in 1919, The Apprentice School is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.  The program includes an on-site school, and currently has a new educational campus under construction with completion scheduled for the last quarter of 2013.  The school offers approximately 800 apprentices a tuition-free opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in business or engineering as they prepare for exciting careers, building and maintaining nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines for the U.S. Navy.  All textbooks are provided and they even offer the opportunity to participate in six Division III collegiate sports, Drum line, Cheer team, Student Government, Jaycees, and two professional societies.  Known as the Apprentice School Builders, the program has won national small college championships in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and wrestling. 

Newport News Shipbuilding truly grows their own, as two current vice presidents and approximately 50 percent of the waterfront management team are graduates of The Apprentice School.  They offer apprentices a four or five year apprenticeship with opportunities to succeed in both academics and craft performance.  Apprentices receive on-the-job learning and trade theory instruction during multiple job rotations in various areas throughout the shipyard as they prepare for career advancement opportunities throughout the company of 22,000 employees.

The Apprentice School was recently recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator Registered Apprenticeship program, one of approximately 70 programs identified throughout the nation as those which embody the 21st Century Vision for Apprenticeship.  Everett H. Jordan Jr., an Apprentice School graduate and Director of Education for the Apprentice School and Training Managers Jim Hughes and Dan Brookman, another Apprentice grad, joined Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Apprenticeship Administrator John V. Ladd as they presented the program a Certificate of Recognition.

Speaking on the opportunities The Apprentice School offers, Mr. Jordan said the following:

”Having apprentices on record since 1894, the aspect of learning through apprenticeship at Newport News Shipbuilding is ingrained in our company and in our culture. The focus on craftsmanship, scholarship and leadership, offers Apprentice School students an opportunity to learn one of 26 different crafts in a complex manufacturing environment while attaining academic success in rigorous curricula."

For more on The Apprentice School, we encourage you to download and share The Apprentice School Trailblazer and Innovator Fact Sheet.  Also, for more on the Apprenticeship opportunities available at The Apprentice School, please visit: http://www.apprenticeschool.com/index.html