Local school and hospital partner to provide state’s first apprenticeship program

By 2 on 07/19/2019 9:16 AM

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Rockcastle Area Technology Center and Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center are proud to announce the formation of Kentucky’s first Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK) Youth Apprenticeship in Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
TRACK is a partnership between secondary education and a business/industry partner where select students receive training at a secondary education facility and on-the-job training with the business partner.  Upon successful completion of rigorous requirements, students earn a nationally recognized certificate as a journeyperson in that field.
The standards for this registered apprenticeship are set forth by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship and implemented through the state registering agency of Kentucky’s Division of Apprenticeship.
Rockcastle Regional Chief Nursing Officer Tammy Brock, RN, MSN, and SRNA Facilitator, Julie Mullins, RN, in conjunction with Rockcastle ATC Health Science Instructor Rhonda Childress, worked to create this opportunity for qualified candidates.
The program starts when Rockcastle County High School students have the ability to take the level 1 Health Science elective course as a 9th or 10th grader.  From there, select students can advance to the Level 2 classes as 11th graders.  Nearing the end of their junior year, those students who perform at a high level and express an interest in the nursing field will go through a selection process with Rockcastle Regional to determine the final TRACK Certified Nursing Assistant candidates.  Those selected will begin to work for Rockcastle Regional during the summer after their junior year.
During their senior year of school, these students will continue to work for Rockcastle Regional, receive instruction at Rockcastle ATC, and work to obtain their CNA certification.  Additionally, these students will obtain on-the-job training in a multitude of competencies while at the hospital. 
The culmination of this program is a Journeyperson Certification and a continued position at the hospital after graduating from RCHS. The success of this venture is made possible by the outstanding relationships between Rockcastle Regional, Rockcastle County Schools, and Rockcastle Area Technology Center.  
This year’s youth apprenticeship candidates are Janelle Brown, Brittany Doan, Bailey Johnson, and Lindsay Mink.
“In today’s healthcare environment, nursing shortages are being seen nationwide,” said Brock. “The TRACK program is an excellent opportunity for our organization to identify talented, intelligent, and highly-driven young people who are interested in the nursing field and help them get on a fast track to jump start their career. It allows students to connect with a potential future employer, as well as gain hands-on experience early on so they can be confident they are choosing the best career path for them.”
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