A particular highlight of 2017 was the formation of a partnership with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to start an Health Apprenticeship Program.  In January 2017, grant funding was awarded to APCA which will allow us to launch apprenticeships in four health professions (as a start): Community Health Worker, Certified Medical Administrative Assistant, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, and Certified Billing & Coding Specialist. APCA understands that the health workforce shortage in Alaska can be crippling for Community Health Centers. One way we could make a difference is in the area of “grow your own” – knowing that people from small communities who can find a good job, with fulfilling career advancement are likely to stay in those jobs for a longer time.  This is good for the individual, the CHC, and for the community.  The APCA Apprenticeship program will require that the apprentice be employed (preferably in a CHC), have a dedicated mentor, and experience both didactic and on the job learning.  Exams at the end of the apprenticeships will be proctored in the APCA office by our staff.  The program covers all the training and exam costs for the apprenticeship. APCA will also provide apprenticeship peer learning and support – and mentor peer learning and support.  Finally, all of the didactic instruction will be delivered via distance learning technology.  Community Health Centers will benefit from the apprentice from the beginning, enjoying the increasing level of skills and responsibility accrued over the course of the apprenticeship. 

The Southcentral AHEC (SCAHEC) program joined the APCA family in late 2015.  It has been a great complement to our growing range of workforce development programs and helps to focus our mindset every day around the importance of supporting Alaska’s next generation of healthcare professionals.  As one of four AHEC’s in Alaska, it works with a range of partners to expose students to health career opportunities, establish community-based training sites for service-learning, and provides continuing education programs.  It offers the Scrubs and Junior Scrubs health academies/camps, regularly scheduled Preparing Alaskans for Training in Health (PATH) academies, and its summer Behavioral Health Camp.