Governor Reynolds to recognize high school pathways into medical careers, leading up to National Apprenticeship Week in November

Pella, Iowa – The Career Academy of Pella is hosting Governor Kim Reynolds for a public event to launch a high school registered apprenticeship in patient care, November 9 at 11:15 a.m. The event will include comments by the first apprentice registered in the program, employers hiring apprentices into these high-demand careers and the Governor.

“It takes creative solutions to address today’s workforce shortage, and careers in patient care are some of the most challenging to fill today,” said Teri Vos, director of work-based learning for WorkSMART Connector.  “This high school registered apprenticeship provides a unique pathway into a variety of local, high-demand medical careers, with the support of a mentor, while breaking down barriers to a nursing degree.”

Also to be showcased at the event is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality medical simulator to help train future Certified Nursing Assistants and others.  The patient care apprenticeship is one of several pathways offered through WorkSMART Connector, a collaboration of educators and employers based in Marion County, Iowa.  This particular apprenticeship model prepares students for medical careers beginning in high school.  Apprenticeship certification can be achieved in less than one year after high school graduation as participants earn while they learn, with options to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree within three years post-high school, or pursue both BSN and Bachelor’s of Arts (BA) degrees in four.  Qualifying apprentices also gain automatic and quick entry into these local nursing programs.

The public event on November 9 will be held at the Career Academy of Pella, 410 East 8th Street in Pella.   For high school students and their parents to learn more about WorkSMART Connector career pathways into construction trades, early childhood education, engineering assistant, hospitality, information technology, patient care and welding, work-based learning informational events will be hosted on November 18, 6:30 p.m. at Pella Community High School, and November 17, 6:30 p.m. at Weiler in Knoxville.

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WorkSMART Connector brings students and employers together through career awareness, career exploration, work-based experience and personal growth.  The local collaboration between area K-12 schools, employers, Central College and regional colleges, focuses on Marion County and surrounding counties.  WorkSMART Connector guides students through their career decision-making process, while providing employment preparation and college credit for participants’ work-based learning, including apprenticeship and certification.  The program is recognized as an Iowa STEM BEST model; visit www.worksmartconnector.org for more information and a list of partner organizations.

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