Healthcare Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship is job related technical instruction with structured on-the-job learning experiences. It is an opportunity for workers seeking high-skilled, high-paying jobs and for employers seeking to build a qualified workforce. An “apprenticeship” is a relationship between an employer and an employee during which the employee, or apprentice, learns a highly skilled occupation. The Apprenticeship:

  • Provide education opportunities for health care workers to obtain additional education or certification to meet demands of health care market.
  • Establish apprenticeship programs enabling healthcare workers or students, to obtain much needed clinical training & credentialing. Examples will be CHW, Nursing and Healthcare-IT jobs. 
  • Assist with employment opportunities through linkage of employer partners in the healthcare sector to boost the workforce.


Talent Development Center is steering two apprenticeship programs:

  1. Community Health Worker (CHW) Apprenticeship with major hospitals:

Rutgers SMLR and the Health Care Talent Network graduated 11 participants from the CHW Apprenticeship pilot program on February 8, 2016. This cohort of graduates participated in 160 hours of comprehensive, in-class instruction, conducted presentations on public health issues, gained new skills by engaging in activities to extend learning beyond the classroom and heard from guest speakers in the health care field.

We know that the CHW role can be instrumental in linking communities to necessary and quality services to receive care. Community Health Workers help build the capacity of the community through education and outreach around critical health issues. These 11 graduated CHWs have now moved onto working with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC): Henry J. Alston (Mercer County), Newark Community Health Center (Essex County) and Saint Peter’s Hospital (Middlesex County). They began their 2100 hours of on-the-job training following their graduation ceremony. Some of the CHWs are working with pregnant mothers and ensuring they receive adequate care before, during and after pregnancy to help reduce infant mortality rates. Others are helping clients with diabetes management by ensuring follow-up appointments with the doctor. These are just a few ways Community Health Workers help to improve the quality of health in communities.

We are in a process of working with Northern Hospitals in Newark, Jersey City to train more cohorts.

  1. Accelerator Apprenticeship: We are working with partners and US-DOL to further the apprenticeship model in healthcare industry. Dr. Padma Arvind is a key speaker at the July 28th summit at Chicago. The objective of the effort is to:
    1. Advance understanding of the Registered Apprenticeship model as an effective talent development solution for the industry
    2. Build acceptance of the bottom-line benefits for businesses that integrate apprenticeship into their HR and training structures
    3. Secure decision by businesses to pursue Registered Apprenticeship programs further                                                                                                       
  2. Career Pathways for EMTs to Become Paramedics with Apprenticeship: Major urban area emergency departments like Newark and Jersey City are finding it difficult to retain their experienced EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians). After gaining a year or two of work experience, they leave to go to Fire and Police departments as they have very little opportunity to move up in their own organization. On the other hand, the same emergency departments are finding it difficult to find experienced Paramedics who have the experience and can work with diverse communities sometime riddled with violence. These departments require two years solid work experience in the comparable environment. Resident EMTs have no career path to become Paramedics unless they leave their jobs take two years of course work and gain two years of experience to be hired back by their own departments. The Pathway will allow the EMTs an incumbent training with apprenticeship within their department. The department will select their own EMTs who are ready to become Paramedics and have taken prerequisite courses and continue to pay them during the training period. They will be given incentives to take evening/weekend courses while working as EMTs. Once they completed one year of course work they ride with the paramedic teams as the third person to fulfill their requirement of on the job training for a year. Once they complete the course and the practical training they are promoted to Paramedics.  We are also exploring further pathway to become an RN.