County partners with Henry Ford Health System and local colleges for new program

Region’s first medical assistant apprenticeship to be launched

The Oakland County Michigan Works! Oak Park service center is partnering with Henry Ford Health System, Oakland Community College and Henry Ford College to offer a no-cost medical assistant apprenticeship program the first of its kind in southeast Michigan.

The partnership, which was announced recently by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, provides $8,000 worth of classroom instruction and on-the-job training and a $12 hourly wage to qualified candidates who enroll in the year-long program at Oakland Community College or Henry Ford College.

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

The apprenticeship program addresses a significant shortage of medical assistants in Oakland County and across the region. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the need for medical assistants across the country will grow by 23 percent through 2024. In Michigan, it is expected 720 medical assistant jobs will be added annually in the state's health care sector during this period.

Oakland County Michigan Works! Oak Park pre-screens candidates and works with Henry Ford Health System and the colleges to coordinate entry into the apprenticeship program. Medical assistant apprentices, under direct supervision of a mentor, perform a variety of tasks to help provide quality patient care. The one-year program combines classroom instruction and onsite training. Henry Ford Health System pays for the classroom instruction, worth $8,000. Apprentices also are paid an hourly rate of $12 while working at a health system facility. The apprenticeship program will be accepting 10 students this summer, with plans to expand next year.

Upon completion, students will receive a U.S. Department of Labor certificate and one from either Oakland Community College or Henry Ford College. Students selected for the apprenticeship program will be hired by Henry Ford Health System and remain with the organization if they successfully complete all of the requirements, which include passing a national certification examination. Pay for a medical assistant is $15 per hour and includes full benefits.

Information sessions on the program are set for April 24, 6 to 8 p.m., and April 27, 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., at the Henry Ford Medical Center, 2825 Livernois Road, Troy. Attendees are required to register for these meetings by calling 248-691-8437 (ext. 2970).

Applicant requirements:

- 18 years or older.

- High school diploma or GED.

- Official transcript of any post high school education.

- Criminal background check.

- Physically capable of performing essential functions of medical assistant apprentice with or without reasonable accommodation and without posing a direct threat to the health and safety of the individual or others.

- Pass pre-employment health screening: nicotine, urine drug testing, MMR, Varicella and hepatitis B, flu injection, TB skin testing, respirator fit testing and color vision testing.

Oakland County Michigan Works! helps more than 45,000 job seekers prepare for careers and conduct job searches each year. The agency provides services to businesses including talent recruiting and retaining support, training support and labor market information.

Published: Fri, Apr 20, 2018