Apprenticeships are industry-driven, experiential learning programs that create multiple pathways to future career and educational opportunities for individuals who are beginning their careers, seeking a career change, or are returning to the workforce.
Through Colorado’s community health worker apprenticeship registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, individuals obtain paid work experience while gaining new skills needed within the public health profession through hands-on training, education, and skilled mentorship. Included below is an introduction to community health worker apprenticeships offered in partnership with Trailhead.
Community health workers are frontline public health workers that have a close understanding of the community they serve. This trusting relationship enables them to serve as connectors between the community to health and social services by providing culturally responsive care to improve health outcomes for all.
Community health workers build the capacity of individuals and communities to lead healthy lives through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy. They also offer critical support to Local Public Health Agencies that work to improve community well-being by providing services that help prevent disease, illness, and injury, particularly in communities most adversely impacted by social, economic and environmental injustice.
Apprentices receive in-person, instructor-led, and online courses provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Patient Navigation and Community Health Worker Training Program, alongside on-the-job training and mentorship from host sites as they develop several core competencies needed within the public health profession. These core competencies include:
- 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
- 93% of apprentices retain employment after completing an apprenticeship program
- The position pays the equivalent of $16/hour for the first 6 months and then increase to $17/hour and provide for health benefits throughout.
- Apprentices receive 145 hours of virtual and in-person training
- In addition to on-the-job training, apprentices receive mentorship to equip them with the skillsets needed to build trust with communities and provide effective community outreach.
- Upon program completion, apprentices receive a certificate of completion from the US Dept. of Labor and have the opportunity to sit for the Colorado Health Navigator CAPE assessment.
Community Health Worker Apprenticeships Through Colorado Public Health Works
Colorado Public Health Works, is a groundbreaking AmeriCorps Apprenticeship program lead by Trailhead in partnership with Serve Colorado and local public health organizations across the state. Designed as part of the nation’s Public Health AmeriCorps program launched by AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colorado Public Health Works marks one of the first times AmeriCorps has integrated with a registered apprenticeship program and is paving new pathways into the field for Colorado’s next generation of public health leaders.
Through Colorado Public Health Works, AmeriCorps members complete a one-year service term in urban, rural, and frontier communities throughout the state and many simultaneously pursue certification as a Community Health Worker through a U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship. Through the program, AmeriCorps members and Community Health Worker apprentices meet locally identified needs and address statewide challenges while increasing the capacity of local public health agencies.