SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership SpotLight

This week’s Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight will highlight the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership, which focuses on establishing career pathways for Home Care Aides – the nation’s fastest growing occupation

The Training Partnership’s Advanced Home Care Aide Apprenticeship Program provides advanced training  to home care workers who are ready to take their career to the next level and provide specialized care to older adults and people with disabilities.  The apprenticeship includes a total of 145 hours, which includes 75 hours of basic and 70 hours of advanced classroom work.  Apprentices also receive 24 hours of peer mentoring from an experienced Home Care Aide.

The Training Partnership is a non-profit, 501(c)3  school training more than 40,000 home care workers annually – making it the second largest educational institution in Washington state.  Formed by SEIU Healthcare 775NW and participating employers, including the state of Washington, the Training Partnership delivers innovative online and classroom based training to give workers the skills they need to provide high-quality, complex care to older adults and people with disabilities living at home instead of in a nursing home or institution.  The Advanced Home Care Aide apprenticeship program, the first of its kind in the country, is winding down its pilot phase and the Training Partnership hopes to scale the program in 2013.

Apprentices who complete the program receive an increase in pay and a Completion Certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, which has national portability. The pilot also features a competency based career pathway to Medical Assistant in which Advanced Home Care Aide apprentices  earn college credit toward a Medical Assistant degree – reducing time to completion for this high demand degree.

The Advanced Home Care Aide apprenticeship program was recently recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator program, which identified innovative training models that embody the 21st century vision for apprenticeship, during the Department of Labor’s OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate Education and Action Summit” in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.  Charissa Raynor, Executive Director for the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership, represented the program during the August 1, 2012 event, here in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Raynor was presented with a Certificate of Recognition presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, and Administrator of Apprenticeship John V. Ladd.

“Through Registered Apprenticeship, we are building a “user friendly” career pathway that empowers home care workers to deepen their skills and earn more by using those skills to provide specialized care that improves health outcomes and cost efficiencies not only in home care, but across the healthcare system,” said Ms. Raynor.  “And, this first in the nation model not only helps stabilize the home care industry’s workforce, but the entire healthcare workforce.  As we are proving with our pilot, today’s home care workers can be tomorrow’s medical assistants or other healthcare professionals – stabilizing and building cultural and linguistic diversity across the healthcare system.”

To learn more on the Training Partnership’s Home Care Aide Apprenticeship Program, we encourage you to download the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership Trailblazer and Innovator Fact Sheet.  For more on the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership, please visit