Colorado Public Health Works is a groundbreaking AmeriCorps Apprenticeship program providing career entry into the field of public health from local communities throughout Colorado. This innovative program marks the first time AmeriCorps has integrated with a registered community health worker apprenticeship program and is paving new pathways into the field for Colorado’s next generation of public health leaders.
Through the Colorado Public Health Works program, AmeriCorps members will serve in regions throughout the state and many will simultaneously pursue certification as a Community Health Worker through a U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship designed to increase the capacity of local public health agencies.
Paving New Pathways Into the Field of Public Health
In April 2022, AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined forces to launch Public Health AmeriCorps to support the recruitment, training, and development of the next generation of public health leaders who will be ready to respond to the nation’s public health needs. Trailhead Institute was selected as one of three Colorado grantees, paving the way for Colorado Public Health Works to launch as the first integrated AmeriCorps Apprenticeship program of its kind in the U.S, building on more than a year of planning and program development efforts.
In 2021, Trailhead began the Community Health Worker (CHW) U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program in Colorado in partnership with Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE), the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative, Arapahoe Community College, and the Office of the Future of Work at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Following the development of the CHW Apprenticeship, Trailhead received a planning grant from Serve Colorado, the Colorado AmeriCorps administrator, to align AmeriCorps programs and the CHW registered apprenticeship program in order to offer opportunities for individuals to complete both programs simultaneously, increasing their living allowance, obtaining an education award, and providing an onramp to a career in public health through apprenticeship certification.
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs offering the opportunity for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to serve and meet community needs. Members address the most critical problems in the areas of education, economic opportunity, veterans and military family services, health, the environment, and disaster services. In exchange for a specific term of service, AmeriCorps members earn a living allowance as well as an educational award to pay back qualified student loans or to finance college, graduate school, or vocational training.
Serve Colorado, the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, empowers community-based organizations to meet locally identified needs and statewide challenges through service and volunteerism. Guided by the Governor’s Commission for Community Service, Serve Colorado administers AmeriCorps Colorado and the Volunteer Generation Fund; promotes volunteerism through Days of Service; presents the Governor’s Service Awards; and supports early literacy initiatives.
Community Health Workers (CHWs), also referred to as Peer Navigators or Health Navigators, provide a range of supports and encompass positions in settings from Local Public Health Agencies to Hospitals, Community Health Clinics, and other Community Based Organizations. CHW apprentices with the Colorado Public Health Works program are enrolled in the US Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program while they simultaneously serve as AmeriCorps members. During their apprenticeship and AmeriCorps service, in-person, instructor-led, and online courses will be provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative, alongside on-the-job training and appropriate mentorship from host sits as apprentices work towards achieving competency in the following areas:
- Coordinating care, providing case management support, and assisting individuals and communities in navigating health and social service systems
- Cultural mediation among individuals, communities, and health and social service systems
- Culturally appropriate health education and information
- Coaching and social support
- Promotion for individuals and communities
- Building individual and community capacity
- Implementing individual and community assessments
The launch of Colorado Public Health Works is made possible through funding from AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who together joined forces in September of 2021 to launch Public Health AmeriCorps which in total has issued more than $60 million in first-year grants to recruit nearly 3,000 AmeriCorps members across the United States.
Building on the funding awarded by AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Schultz Family Foundation awarded significant funding to Trailhead to increase the living allowance of participating AmeriCorps members, supporting efforts to equitably recruit and compensate members throughout their service. Additionally, funding from Arapahoe Community College is supporting efforts to recruit, market, and provide technical assistance to increase the number of health-related apprenticeships in Colorado.
In addition to our generous funders, the launch of Colorado Public Health Works would not be possible without the incredible collaboration, thought-partnership, and vision of our partners. We would like to give special thanks to our partners at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and Serve Colorado for working with us to bring Colorado Public Health Works to life.
Explore Open Positions with Colorado Public Health Works
View open positions with Colorado Public Health Works at the following public health organizations:
- Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials (CALPHO)
- Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)
- Larimer County Department of Health and Environment
- Mesa County Public Health
- Pueblo Department of Public Health & Environment
- Silver Thread Public Health District in Lake City, Colorado
Program Description & Inquiry Instructions
Details about the Colorado Public Health Works Community Health Worker positions, application requirements, eligibility, and benefits are available in the position description below.
Note: Previous education and public health work hours can be credited for program requirements.
General Inquiries can be made by to the following team members Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm.
As Featured in Trailhead’s Newsletter
Learn more about Colorado Public Health Works and related Workforce initiatives through past newsletters.