Lt. Governor Cooney Welcomes Apprentices to New Healthcare Occupation Program

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Lt. Governor Mike Cooney today announced First Choice Home Health will be the first home health agency in Montana to sponsor apprenticeships opportunities in caregiving and welcomed 14 apprentices who will start training in dementia care, restorative care, and behavioral health.

Investing in apprenticeship programs offer businesses a proven method to build their business, and in today’s case, creates vital jobs in Montana’s growing healthcare industry, Lieutenant Governor Cooney said. National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to highlight the many benefits Registered Apprenticeship has across Montana. Maintaining and growing Montana’s skilled workforce is critical to the continued success of our economy.

First Choice Home Health is also the first home health agency in the state to offer dementia curriculum developed by the HealthCARE (Creating Access to Rural Education) Montana grant. The grant aims to help train, recruit, and retain healthcare professionals in rural Montana. The Montana Registered Apprenticeship program is currently working to foster new partnerships to expand and diversify into new occupation fields, including healthcare.

This apprenticeship program is raising the bar on the level of care we will be able to provide to the Gallatin County area, said Genevieve Dreyer, Marketing Director at First Choice Home Health. “It gives our business and employees the opportunity to invest in gaining the skills needed to provide skilled caregiving.

The healthcare field is projected to continue growing in Montana. Nursing assistants are the second-highest apprenticeable occupation with the most projected job openings, with 850 total annual job openings, according to Montana DLI Employment Projections from 2018 through 2028.

As tight labor markets continue in the Bozeman area, apprenticeship offers a way for Montanans to join the labor force while earning a paycheck and learning the skills employers need to grow their operations. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry is committed to implementing training programs like Registered Apprenticeship to work to give Montanans the skills they need to join the workforce for increased economic stability.

First Choice Home Health is a wonderful example of how our apprenticeship program creates new opportunities for Montanans to join the health care career field. Montana Registered Apprenticeship’s Madeline Boehm said. We are excited to continue registered apprenticeship growth by assisting sponsors as they invest in Montana’s workforce.”

During National Apprenticeship Week from November 11 through 15, the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program is celebrating consistent growth and success in increasing the pool of qualified workers while assisting businesses with efforts to recruit and retain during a statewide worker shortage. The highly innovative program has steadily increased apprenticeships, recruited businesses to sponsor, and adds additional occupations in in-demand fields, like healthcare.

The event also marked National Home Care Aide Week during National Home Care & Hospice Month. The week honors the tireless and compassionate role home care aides provide to their clients.

For more information on the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program, visit http://apprenticeship.mt.gov/.

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