Colorado’s health care and wellness industry continues to boom, offering more employment opportunities each year. From 2012 to 2017, Denver added 43,250 health care jobs to its existing 222,700 workers, representing ten percent of the total job growth in the region over this period of time. As job availability in health care increases, so does the need for a skilled workforce to support this industry.
Colleges within the Colorado Community College System have already been working to meet health care workforce needs through apprenticeships and career and technical education; and with a new grant just announced, more apprenticeships are on the horizon.
Our goal with these apprenticeships is to offer a very intentional pathway to a livable wage, with opportunities for continued upward mobility.
“As the state’s largest provider of higher education and career training, CCCS plays a vital role in educating our state’s emerging and existing workforces, as well as meeting the needs of Colorado’s businesses and communities,” said CCCS Chancellor Joe Garcia. “We are excited to help enhance the health care sector in our state, all while creating seamless pathways for students to gain relevant workforce skills while earning post-secondary credentials.”
CCCS has a long history of partnering with businesses to provide skills-based training to fill in-demand jobs. Arapahoe Community College (ACC) and Centura Health recently teamed up and co-created the largest and most robust registered apprenticeship in health care in Colorado. The ACC/Centura Medical Assistant Apprenticeship program provides apprentices with the opportunity to earn their post-secondary credential and national certification in as little as six months while working and learning on site at a Centura Health clinic. Apprentices subsequently move on to full-time employment with Centura Health upon successful program completion. With this new grant funding, CCCS plans to develop similar offerings alongside multiple allied health fields around the state.
“Our partnership with CCCS has transformed the way we attract and grow incredible, mission-driven individuals,” said Mark Moir, Vice President, People and Culture, Centura Health. “As Colorado’s health care leader, Centura Health is happy to commit the resources and financial support necessary to create lifelong learning experiences that will close the workforce gap and better serve Coloradoans.”
To deliver the new programming alongside CDHE, CCCS will partner with Kaiser Permanente, Centura Health, HealthOne/HCA, UCHealth and Colorado Rural Health Center to implement apprenticeships that target 23 occupations in health care, from phlebotomists and medical assistants to nurses and other high wage jobs. According to the Metro Denver Economic Development Center, the average wage for Colorado health care occupations is $57,070.
We are excited to help enhance the health care sector in our state, all while creating seamless pathways for students to gain relevant workforce skills while earning post-secondary credentials.
“Our goal with these apprenticeships is to offer a very intentional pathway to a livable wage, with opportunities for continued upward mobility,” said Michael Macklin, Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development and Partnerships at CCCS. “I look forward to seeing how a strong system of 13 colleges in Colorado can really impact the health care industry, our business partners and local communities.”
The Colorado grant is part of $183.8 million awarded to 23 private-public apprenticeship partnerships in key industry sectors, including information technology, advanced manufacturing and health care. Known as the Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies grant program, these funds will support the training of more than 85,000 apprentices across the country.