posted on 11/5/21

The Career Academy of Pella is hosting Gov. Kim Reynolds for a public event to launch a high school-registered apprenticeship in patient care at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, at the Career Academy of Pella, located at 410 E. 8th Street.

The event will include comments by the first apprentice registered in the program, employers hiring apprentices into these high-demand careers and Gov. Reynolds.

A first-of-its-kind virtual reality medical simulator that will help train future Certified Nursing Assistants and others also will be showcased at the event. The patient care apprenticeship is one of several pathways offered through WorkSMART Connector, a collaboration between Central College, area K-12 schools, employers and regional colleges focused on Marion County and surrounding counties.

This apprenticeship model prepares students for medical careers beginning in high school.

"It takes creative solutions to address today's workforce shortage, and careers in patient care are some of the most challenging to fill," says 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."

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 of Science in Nursing degree within three years post-high school or pursue both BSN and Bachelor of Arts degrees in four years. Qualifying apprentices also gain automatic and quick entry into these local nursing programs.

For high school students and their parents interested in learning more about WorkSMART Connector career pathways into construction trades, early childhood education, engineering assistantship, hospitality, information technology, patient care and welding, work-based learning informational events will be hosted at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, at Weiler in Knoxville, and at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at Pella Community High School.

WorkSMART Connector is recognized as an Iowa STEM BEST model. Visit worksmartconnector.org for more information and a list of partner organizations.

Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, four-year liberal arts college. Central is known for its academic rigor and leadership formation and for cultivating diversity of thought and culture through the arts and sciences, professional fields of study and experiential learning.