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Local health care facilities address workforce shortage with apprenticeships

New training opportunities investing in rural communities to strengthen local economies


September 11, 2017

Havre Daily News staff 

Local health care facilities are joining up with the state Department of Labor and Industries to try to fill a workforce shortage using the model of apprenticeship to train workers.

A press release from Labor and Industry said Liberty Medical Center, HealthCARE Montana and the agency have been working over the last year to launch new programs in north-central Montana communities including Chester, Harlem and Rocky Boy.

Liberty Medical Center has committed to apprenticeships for medication aide II, restorative aides and medical assistants.

Aaniih Nakoda College at Fort Belknap has committed to apprenticeships for training certified nurse aides.

Rocky Boy Health Clinic, in conjunction with Stone Child College, has committed to apprenticeship for their medical coders. 

“North-central Montana’s rural communities constantly need their healthcare facilities to be fully staffed with highly trained professionals,” Labor and Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy said in the release. “The private-public partnerships built through the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program are making it possible for Montanans on the Hi-Line to be seen cared for by people who have spent their lives caring about their communities. Over the last two years, over 100 health care apprenticeships with more than 30 employers have been launched across Montana. ”

April Malan, clinic director for Liberty Medical Center Clinic, said in the release that she sees the growth of these health care apprenticeships as the future of developing talent pipelines in the region.

“These innovative training models are changing the way clinics are growing their workforces in our communities,” said Malan. “By knowing who we’re training and what skills they learning, we’re able to make sure patients are receiving the care they expect from highly trained professionals.”

Terri Perrigo, workforce coordinator with HealthCARE Montana, said it does not matter the size of a health care facility, apprenticeship collaborations work.

  “Whether we’re talking about the region’s largest hospital in Great Falls or the clinic in Chester, our health care facilities need to grow their talent pipelines to provide service to Montanans,” Perrigo said. “By working with the Montana Registered Apprenticeship and the Department of Labor and Industry, we are making sure people will have the most updated training for their communities’ wellness.”

  To learn more about these and other health care apprenticeship opportunities available statewide or any of the almost sixty occupations served through the Montana Registered Apprenticeship unit, people can call the Montana Department of Labor and Industry at 406-444-4100 or visit http://apprenticeship.mt.gov.


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