SEATTLE, March 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Our region has a growing need for both Medical Assistants and for good career-path jobs. Now a new partnership between labor unions and health care employers will offer more students in the Puget Sound region on-the-job training to become Medical Assistants. It will increase access to equitable health care by ensuring more communities are represented in the profession plus provide equitable access to living wage jobs.
Kaiser Permanente and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW collaborated to create the Medical Assistant (MA) Apprenticeship Program that is set to launch in Fall 2019. The program is the first major outcome of Governor Inslee's Career Connect Washington program to bring together business, labor, government, and education leaders to connect young people to high-demand, high- wage careers in the state.
The MA Apprenticeship program was made possible by the creation of the Washington State Healthcare Consortium, which is the first ever multi-employer, multi-labor state-wide health care consortium in the nation that includes participation from Kaiser Permanente, Swedish, University of Washington Medicine, MultiCare, SEIU, OPEIU, and UFCW. It is the governing body for all future health care apprenticeship programs in Washington state. The MA Apprenticeship program will be a model for future programs for other critical positions. KP joins Microsoft, Boeing, Alaska Airlines, Amazon, and other employers to build career pipelines through apprenticeships.
"This unique Labor/Management health care apprenticeship training is a dream come true for young people and our Kaiser Permanente union members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW," said Diane Sosne, RN, MN, President of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. "Creating a pathway into hard to fill MA jobs and career mobility for other health care apprenticeships is an excellent way for labor and management to address workforce issues."
The future MA apprenticeship program is the opposite of a traditional program which is classroom-heavy; it will provide 80 percent training and 20 percent classroom learning instead. With this model, participants will work directly with patients and develop critical skills to prepare them for their future position. Apprentices will get on-the-job training, mentorship, a guaranteed 2-year Kaiser Permanente MA position, and paid classroom time. This will allow them to be supported and guided throughout their professional journey.
"This is one of the many positive outcomes resulting from our long-standing partnership with our labor partners that will have a tremendous impact on our staff, members, patients, and the community at large," says Kim Sullivan, vice president of HR. "This program is an opportunity to use an earn-while-you-learn model and promotes equity in the workplace."
Additional information about Career Connect Washington is available here.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington are committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.
About SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is the largest union of nurses and health care workers in Washington State, with over 30,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, skilled home health and hospice programs. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW's mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all Washingtonians.
CONTACT: Julie Popper, 206-300-9646 (cell) or Dave Bates, 347-865-8038 (cell)
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente