To observe the 75th anniversary in August of the National Apprenticeship Act, the federal Office of Apprenticeship has designated several state Registered Apprenticeship programs as “innovating and trailblazing,” including two in Kansas.
The Early Childhood Associate Apprenticeship (ECAA) Program and the Health Support Specialist Program were highlighted recently as programs that incorporate innovation and commitment to helping people find and keep jobs.
“These Registered Apprenticeship programs help to train Kansans to find long-term, stable employment,” said Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George. “These programs help us fulfill our priority of increasing private-sector job growth.”
The ECAA Program serves individuals working in childcare and early education. Currently, 10 community colleges in Kansas provide training for this program, which results in apprentices earning the Child Development Associate (CDA) certification, a nationally recognized entry level credential to enter early child care and education occupations. A School-to-Registered Apprenticeship program also was developed in Kansas where high school students can complete the CDA by working part-time during the school year or summer with a registered ECAAP sponsor. That experience results in the students earning a CDA upon graduation, advanced placement in the ECAAP program and a head start in earning a college degree.
The Health Support Specialist program helps TANF recipients, disabled veterans and others find jobs in the health care field. The program allows adult care facilities to train new and current employees to provide care to elder adults living in a household/adult care residential facility.
In 2010, the Kansas Department of Commerce was awarded a $15.3 million Health Professions Opportunity Grant for the Kansas Health Professions Opportunity Project (KHPOP). The Registered Apprenticeship program was a part of KHPOP, which allows for training opportunities for those identified as low income. Qualified candidates receive support in the form of education, training, child care consideration, GED assistance and career coaching and counseling.