Apprenticeship Programs Create Opportunities for Women

The following is part of a larger story on healthcare apprenticeship from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. 

The earn-while-you-learn model makes good jobs more accessible to everyone, including women. Many people cannot afford the cost of education and training in addition to their regular living expenses. Through apprenticeships, healthcare employers can provide greater economic mobility to low-wage workers. When employers invest in skills, provide opportunities for advancement and generate good jobs, they retain employees. And that is good for business.

“These apprenticeship programs offer potential financial assistance opportunities for those who might otherwise have the motivation and interest, but not the financial ability, said Tracey Penaloza, nurse manager for perioperative services, at University of Maryland Medical Center. “These [programs] are designed for truly entry-level employees, teaching them the work and life skills that they will need to help them advance in their [healthcare] careers.”

Shakera Rahimi, medical professional, refugee, mother, and apprentice

Shakera and her came to the United States from Afghanistan in 2014. Despite having a medical degree, it was difficult to find a job, especially while raising her children. An apprenticeship program at University of Maryland Medical Center provided her with new skills, and she is now a certified surgical instrument specialist.

“I had an income and was able to enhance my training and education without having to pay for tuition…I am able to stay in healthcare, so I am a part of the team of surgeons. I’m happy I got the position through the apprenticeship program. It has changed my life.”