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ANCHORAGE, Alaska— Alaska Labor Commissioner Heidi Drygas and U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship Alaska director John Hakala joined Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Chief Executive Officer Roald Helgesen to sign standards of apprenticeship for the Behavioral Health Aide (BHA) occupation. ANTHC, the State of Alaska, and the U.S. Department of Labor have worked together for two years to build the curriculum and coordinate with regional Tribal health providers to establish this new Registered Apprenticeship.
“ANTHC continues to be at the forefront of public health efforts in Alaska. This new Behavioral Health Aide Apprenticeship will help improve the quality of health care for rural communities while also developing a pathway for local people to have a long-term career in their home community,” said Commissioner Drygas.
“All health aides play a critical role of providing care at the front lines in our communities across Alaska,” said Andy Teuber, ANTHC Chairman and President. “We are excited for this next step for our behavioral health aide program and the expansion of community based care they will provide for our people.”
The Behavioral Health Aide Apprenticeship combines on-the-job learning with classroom instruction. Experienced mentors will work with BHA apprentices. ANTHC has designed BHA-specific curriculum and learning materials, and will continue to provide training support and coordination for tribal health organizations participating in the program. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has supported development of the apprenticeship with funding from the American Apprenticeship Initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Over the past year, Alaska employers have created approximately 200 new apprenticeships, including in the health care, aviation, and maritime sectors.