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.
Idaho is one of 37 recipients that will use a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand registered apprenticeships throughout the state in health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing and energy.
Earlier this year the state received a $200,000 planning grant to develop a strategy.
“Idaho businesses are calling for a pipeline of skilled workers with industry-specific training and hands-on experience,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Kenneth D. Edmunds. “This grant will allow us to help meet those needs and increase the number of registered apprenticeships throughout the state.” Continue reading
Apprenticeships and training for Idaho’s power and energy industry are on the rise.
Troy Butler, a field service leader with Idaho Power, directly attributes his career success to the five-year apprenticeship program he completed with Idaho Power.
“If I didn’t have the apprenticeship, I wouldn’t have become a lineman, and if I didn’t become a lineman there is no way I would have been able to become a foreman to run my own crew,” he said. “Gaining that leadership experience running my own crew gave me the tools to take over and move up to this middle management job.”
Businesses throughout Idaho, the United States and around the world are utilizing the “earn and learn” approach of apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships combine work-based learning with related classroom instruction and are supervised by industry specialists.