$100K gift to enhance healthcare education with apprenticeship-style learning

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 11:39 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A $100,000 gift from the Patterson Family Foundation will enhance healthcare education through apprenticeship-style learning in southeastern and western Kansas.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced on Wednesday, April 12, that $100,000 will go toward the support of two new healthcare apprenticeship programs at Pratt Regional Medical Center and Labette Health. She said the programs build on the Office of Registered Apprenticeship which was created in the fall of 2022 and include training opportunities for positions like Certified Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomist, Surgical Technician, Medical Coding Specialist and other high-demand and high-wage healthcare careers.

“Apprenticeships are a critical part of my strategy to ensure Kansas workers have the skills needed to advance their careers and support their families,” Gov. Kelly said. “These programs will also improve our health care system by providing a more robust workforce. I want to thank the Patterson Family Foundation for its support and for targeting such an essential industry.”

Kelly said the program will be developed and administered by Hamilton Ryker, a staffing and workforce solutions agency that has partnered with the ORA and will be supported by the Kansas Hospital Association. Funds have been made available through the Patterson Family Foundation.

“Innovative programs such as this are exactly what Governor Laura Kelly envisioned when she established the Office of Registered Apprenticeship,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Kansas faces chronic shortages of health care workers, particularly in rural parts of the state. These new apprenticeship programs help address the challenge head-on, preparing Kansas workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Since September 2022, the Governor said interest in apprenticeship programs has skyrocketed. There are now 4,044 Kansans in apprenticeship - up from 3,500 - while total occupations with programs have increased from 150 to 172. She also said the number of active employers that offer apprenticeships has almost doubled from 118 to 212.

“Hamilton-Ryker’s workforce development division, TalentGro, is honored to have received the Patterson Grant on behalf of Kansas Hospital Association and two of their members, Pratt Regional Medical Center and Labette Health,” Shari Franey, Hamilton-Ryker Chief Operating Officer, said. “We are excited to continue our work of setting up, sponsoring, and managing Registered Apprenticeships for employers throughout Kansas and the country.”

Kelly noted that the Kansas Registered Apprenticeship Program is employer-designed and driven to create unique opportunities for employers and career seekers throughout the Sunflower State. To be recognized for certification, all registered apprenticeship programs must include:

  • On-the-job training
  • Related technical instruction
  • Mentorship
  • Wage progression
  • Industry-recognized credentials

“We are so excited to be named co-recipient of the Patterson Family Foundation grant awarded by the Kansas Department of Commerce,” Tammy Smith, Pratt Regional Medical Center President and CEO, said. “This is an innovative way to attract and retain health career-minded people, and we are enthusiastic to be part of it.”

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