Alaska Wins One Million Dollar Grant to Expand Registered Apprenticeships in Health Care and Aviation

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a competitive grant of $1,019,985 to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development to train Alaskans for careers in the health care and aviation industries. The training will utilize Registered Apprenticeships, which are employer driven workforce development programs that combine structured on the job training with technical classroom instruction.

Registered Apprenticeships supported by the grant include Community Health Worker, Medical Administrative Assistant, Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Biller/Coder, Commercial Pilot, Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic, and Aircraft Dispatcher. The apprenticeships will be accessible statewide, with strong participation from air carriers and primary care clinics serving rural villages and hub communities, in addition to Alaska’s urban centers.

“Registered Apprenticeship programs directly contribute to higher rates of Alaska Hire and lower rates of unemployment by increasing the supply of trained workers,” said Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas. “Thank you to the Alaska Primary Care Association and Alaska Air Carriers Association members who are stepping up to expand training and job opportunities for Alaskans.”

The grant represents the most recent milestone in a comprehensive state effort to expand apprenticeships and increase Alaska Hire. Already, the state has re-established Alaska Hire requirements, expanded apprenticeship utilization targets for state-funded projects, and obtained federal funding to help health care providers form a multi-employer sponsor of health care apprenticeships. The $1 million ApprenticeshipUSA grant will build on that progress, as the Alaska Primary Care Association’s apprenticeships will be housed in the multi-employer Alaska Health Care Apprenticeship Consortium.

Source: Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development Press Release – October 24, 2016

UAA Occupational Therapy: ‘I want to be part of that’

Occupational therapy helps the injured or the ill move back toward leading independent lives. A collaboration between UAA and Creighton University helps aspiring therapists earn their degrees and launch careers here in Alaska.

To find out more, read the full article here.

Source: UAA occupational therapy: ‘I want to be part of that’ – Green & Gold News

2016 Behavioral Health Workforce Summit – Anchorage, AK

The University of Alaska in partnership with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority hosted a Behavioral Health Workforce Summit on October 25, 2016. Behavioral health providers, experts, and key decision makers came together to share information about the major influences impacting the behavioral health field and provided input that will help inform the University of Alaska’s response to the growing need for qualified behavioral health workers and professionals into the future. A summary and additional information can be found here.

Workforce Wednesday: Becoming an Ultrasound Technologist

Looking for a career in the health industry? Do you love working with technology? If you answered yes, then becoming an ultrasound technologist might be your match.

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) ultrasound program takes about two years to complete. According to the Ryan Parnell, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Director at UAA, the pay is “excellent.”

Students who graduate could be making around $60,000 a year to start.

To learn watch the Workforce Wednesday segment and learn more, click here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Becoming an ultrasound technologist – KTVA 11

Alaska AHEC Wraps Up Busy Summer of Outreach

AHEC1Alaska AHEC Wraps Up Busy Summer of Outreach
This summer, the Alaska AHEC completed a series of outreach projects focused on improving the diversity and distribution of healthcare professionals in Alaska. The programs, with a range of target audiences from youth to undergraduates, provided a unique perspective into rural healthcare and career pathways in the field. Thank you to all COH faculty and staff who helped make these projects a success! Here is a brief rundown of the work that kept AHEC staffers busy throughout the summer:

ANSEP Health Science Strand
AHEC led three groups of ANSEP students in health science career exploration this summer, including 53 middle school students and 43 high school students. The theme for these sessions was built around traumatic brain injury. It helped students explore career opportunities by highlighting the role of these professionals in the tumultuous journey of stabilization and recovery from these injuries, along with an underlying public health message regarding injury prevention.

Rural Immersion Institute of the North (RIIN)

The AHEC Program piloted the Rural Immersion Institute of the North in June with 14 undergraduate participants from the Lower 48 and Alaska. Students took part in the 3-week program, which provided them with rural healthcare shadowing, cultural attunement, and Alaskan outdoor recreation. The experience was eye-opening for all involved, and the AHEC looks forward to continuing RIIN in the future. Applications for the 2017 RIIN Program are currently open: For more information, download the RIIN brochure:


AHEC2Behavioral Health Career Pathways
The AHEC program expanded the 2015 pilot Behavioral Health Camp to include two new locations in summer 2016 (Anchorage and Fairbanks). Forty-four participants took part in the camps which focused on careers in behavioral health, self-care, mindfulness, and Mental Health First Aid certification. Plans are underway to rotate the camps to three new locations in 2017, including Ketchikan, Bethel, and Nome.

Junior Scrubs Academy
The SC AHEC, in partnership with the Municipality of Anchorage, held a Junior Scrubs Academy at Spenard Recreation Center with 24 participants ages 6-12. The academy provided an overview of the following disciplines via hands on and engaging activities and sessions: Medicine, Nursing, Behavioral Health, Veterinary Medicine, and Public Health. SC AHEC is currently planning for more informal “Pop-Up Camps” to take place at both Fairview and Spenard Rec Centers in the future.

For more information, or for potential opportunities to partner with the AHEC program on outreach efforts, please contact Gloria Burnett at or 907-786-6705.

Source: UAA College of Health – August 2016 Leadership Team Newsletter