Michigan Works! Association Impact Award given

Henry Ford Health System was recognized with a Michigan Works! Association Impact Award for its medical assistant apprenticeship program the first U.S. Department of Labor-registered apprenticeship program of its kind in southeast Michigan.

The award was given to the health system, Oakland County Michigan Works! Oak Park, Oakland Community College and Henry Ford College during a recent luncheon held in Lansing. The health system was nominated for the award by Oakland County Michigan Works!

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the need for medical assistants will grow by 23 percent through 2024. In Michigan alone, it is expected that 720 medical assistant jobs will be added every year during this time.

"Medical assistants are among the top 10 in-demand jobs in health care in our country," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "This innovative apprenticeship will help alleviate the shortage of these certified medical assistants and provide a rewarding career path for many people. Free instruction and an hourly wage during the apprenticeship this is an incredible opportunity to enter the health care field without crippling student debt."

The Henry Ford Health System medical assistant apprenticeship program provides $8,000 worth of classroom instruction, on-the-job training and an hourly wage to qualified candidates who enroll in the yearlong program at Oakland Community College or Henry Ford College. Oakland County Michigan Works! assists the health system with recruitment, outreach and selection of candidates, and uses Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act funds to cover the costs of the on-the-job training.

Ten students in the apprenticeship program are scheduled to graduate in June. The next cohort of medical assistant apprentices will start training later this summer.

"Working with Sherry Kless from Oakland County Michigan Works! has been a wonderful experience her knowledge and out-of-the-box thinking has helped make this a smooth process," said Dawn Robiadek, clinical care services, Henry Ford Medical Group. "Without her, we wouldn't have had a medical assistant apprenticeship pilot program, which we've now expanded."

Oakland County Michigan Works! provides talent attraction, management and retention services for businesses, career management, training and placement for job seekers at seven locations in Oakland County. Combined, the Oakland County Michigan Works! offices service more than 40,000 people per year. Visit OaklandCountyMIWorks.com for additional information.

Published: Mon, Mar 04, 2019