Creating career pathways helps the medical industry and the state meet local workforce needs
A Saint Alphonsus nurse explains the proper use of gloves, to Linda Akike, and another student. (Photo courtesy of College of Western Idaho)
Linda Akike came to Boise from the Republic of Congo. She always dreamed of being a nurse, so when she heard she could enroll in a program that may lead to a full-time job at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, she leaped at the chance.
Akike learned about a new pre-apprenticeship program offered by the Idaho Department of Labor and the College of Western Idaho (CWI) through the International Rescue Committee in Boise. The CWI class offers 80 hours of instruction and training to prepare job seekers for an Environmental Services position in health care, and potentially a full-on career in the future.
The class trains people for environmental service work in a hospital and helps people like Akike, for whom English is a second language, learn English-speaking skills and health care vocabulary terms she’ll need to know.
Just about everyone knows computer code runs the backend of computer systems, web sites, mobile apps and more.
When Ramsey Bland decided to apply for a 13-week immersion class at Boise CodeWorks, the only computer code he knew was the bar code on the side of a pizza box.
Bland, 23, had studied mechanical engineering at Boise State University for several years, but he couldn’t keep up with the cost of going to college full time. His job delivering pizza covered the rent, living expenses and college. It was a stretch.
When he applied for the CodeWorks immersion class, a super-intensive drill where he could learn how to write four computer languages in a little more than three months, he learned how to plan projects and solve complex problems as part of a team.
In-Migration Accounted for 73 Percent of Idaho’s Population Increase
Idaho’s population continued to become more urbanized from mid-2017 to mid-2018, with nearly 73 percent of the growth coming from outside the state, newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows. The data provides additional detail at the county level to the January release that showed Idaho’s 2.1 percent population increase tied with Nevada as the fastest-growing state in the nation.
The Boise Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) population grew by 2.9 percent – the eighth fastest among the nation’s 383 other MSAs. The five counties that comprise the Boise MSA – Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem and Owyhee counties – increased by 20,346 people accounting for 58 percent of the state’s total increase of 35,304. The concentration of more than half of Idaho’s growth in the Boise MSA typifies the continued steady shift toward urbanization of the state’s population from rural to urban counties.
USDOL Registered Apprenticeships have an advantage over non-registered programs and benefit job seekers and employers as follows:
National Credential – Registered Apprenticeship graduates receive a national, industry-recognized credential that is portable and stackable.
Quality Standards – Registration means the program meets national and independent standards for quality and rigor. Registration tells prospective employees, customers and suppliers a business invests in its workforce and believes employees are its most important asset.
High Quality and Safe Working Conditions – Emphasis on program safety may reduce worker compensation costs.
Technical Assistance and Support – Businesses that register their apprenticeship programs with USDOL receive access to a nationwide network of expertise, customer service and support at no charge for program sponsors.
Tax Credits – In some states, businesses qualify for state-based tax credits related to apprenticeship programs. Employers may also be able to claim some expenses for training as a federal tax credit.
Federal Resources – Businesses and apprentices can access funding and other resources from many federal programs to help support their Registered Apprenticeship programs, including Pell Grants and the GI Bill.
Contact Bill Kober, (208) 321-2973 or (208) 703-3782 for more information.
Safe, plentiful and affordable drinking water, environmentally sound wastewater treatment, and the people who maintain the systems – are some of Idaho’s most precious resources and something many people take for granted.
“We are encouraging our 120 members to plan for the future,” explained Kelsie Cole, apprenticeship coordinator for the Idaho Rural Water Association. “More than half the professionals who oversee or operate Idaho’s drinking water and wastewater facilities are within 10 years or less of retirement. One-third are more than 55 years old. Another 30 percent are over age 45.”
Cole’s job is to meet the demand for future operators by pairing quality job candidates with a new statewide apprenticeship program involving 120 Idaho cities and communities that operate drinking water and wastewater systems throughout the state.
The Association is using a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to recruit job candidates interested in a career managing Idaho’s drinking water or wastewater systems. What they need is more Idaho cities and communities willing to step up and offer the on-the-job training component of the apprenticeship program.
Think your business doesn’t need to answer the Five-Year Economic Census? Think again.
Imagine trying to secure a bank loan, develop a strategic business plan or land a good company for your small town with no data to back up your proposal.
What many businesses and organizations don’t know is much of the information they used to land lucrative contracts or lure good, high-paying jobs to their areas comes from the Economic Census – a key source of statistics and information about business and industry.
Issued once every five years (for years ending in 2 and 7), the economic census is currently underway for 2017 and is the first time the entire survey will be conducted almost entirely online via a secure portal.
Thirty work-related deaths were recorded in Idaho in 2016, down from 36 in 2015, while nationally there was an increase of 7.3 percent from 4,836 in 2015 to 5,190 in 2016.
Over the past 14 years, the leading cause of deaths in the workplace occurred in the transportation industry and transportation-related incidents in either agricultural and forestry industries. The second leading cause involves contact with objects and equipment and exposure to toxic substances. Less frequently, deaths results from violence in the workplace (Chart 1).Continue reading →
Last year Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter proposed and the 2017 Idaho Legislature approved $2.5 million in general funds to be added to the Idaho Workforce Development Training Fund, a key economic growth program administered by the Idaho Department of Labor. To make sure those dollars were spent based on industry input the governor appointed an industry-based task force to make recommendations on how the money could be used to “close the gap between the training and education Idaho job seekers have and the skills that Idaho employers need.”
by Idaho Department of Labor Director Melinda S. Smyser
Not too long ago, St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood found itself in need of a medical lab scientist. After searching eight months for a qualified applicant, hospital officials worked with their local Idaho Department of Labor office to develop a registered apprenticeship program. Today the program is working so well St. Mary’s plans to set up a second apprenticeship for the same skill set.
As I meet with Idaho employers, they tell me they all have one thing in common with St. Mary’s Hospital. They need a pipeline of skilled workers with industry-specific training and hands-on experience.
Registered apprenticeships are a proven strategy for successfully building that pipeline and benefits both businesses and job seekers. Most employers see reduced turnover costs, greater employee retention, increased productivity and an average of $1.05 returned for every dollar they invest in their employees.
Apprentices benefit by on-the-job training and earn while they learn, reducing student debt. They see increased opportunities for promotion and higher wages over the course of their careers. Nationally, nine out of 10 find themselves gainfully employed at an average starting salary of $60,000 per year, and over the course of their careers, earn $300,000 more than their non-apprenticed peers.
Rehabilitation nurse Anna Pjesky, left, teaches certified nursing assistants Myriah Wilson, certified nursing assistant, Valley Vista and William Redican, certified nursing assistant, Kootenai Health, how to therapeutically wrap an amputated limb.
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Kootenai Health, Valley Vista and Northwest Hospital Alliance in northern Idaho, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) can now receive additional training essential in meeting community needs. When the need to have CNAs with advanced training as mental health assistants, as restorative assistants and as patient care coordinators was identified, these health care providers partnered with North Idaho College (NIC) to create professional instruction in these three health care specialties.
North Idaho College was given a $202,500 industry sector grant from the Idaho Workforce Development Training Fund which included $50,625 in funds from private sector partners Kootenai Health, Valley Vista and Northwest Hospital Alliance. This grant, administered by the Idaho Department of Labor, has enabled NIC to develop and implement these three training programs as well as hire instructors for each course.