SolutionHealth, a regional healthcare network founded by Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health, is partnering with Manchester Community College and ApprenticeshipNH, a workforce program within the Community College System of NH, to help employees advance to high-demand healthcare jobs within the organization. For Manchester’s Perry Spearman, this meant that an “earn while you learn” program prepared him to take on a new role as a Medical Assistant after just 12 weeks. Spearman was among the first cohort of graduates from the new Registered Medical Assistant (MA) Apprenticeship program created to address workforce needs in critical healthcare fields.
“SolutionHealth allowed me to maintain a full-time wage as an emergency room tech at Elliot Hospital while participating in the apprenticeship,” said Spearman, Medical Assistant II, CCMA. “Without that benefit, I could not have afforded to join the program. All the elements of the apprenticeship program empowered my success.”
The 12-week MA apprenticeship program begins with eight weeks of full-time paid instruction at Manchester Community College. Once the related instruction is completed, the apprentices sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant National Exam. After successfully passing the exam, apprentices begin four weeks of on-the-job training at a SolutionHealth provider practice for hands-on experience.
“SolutionHealth advanced my career and expanded my scope of practice in 12 short weeks and made me feel I was important to the organization and needed,” said Spearman, who was offered at job upon graduation and is now working at Elliot Family Medicine and Pediatrics at Riverside.
According to NHeconomy.com, as one of the state’s largest industries, healthcare in New Hampshire is surging and expected to grow at least 15.7 percent through 2026―signaling an immense opportunity for job seekers.
“The medical assistant apprentice program with SolutionHealth is proving successful in helping solve the workforce puzzle in New Hampshire,” said Tracey Jackson, CCSNH’s ApprenticeshipNH grant manager. “The healthcare industry’s need for skilled employees is significant and this program helps fill these crucial employment needs.”
For SolutionHealth, the apprenticeship program has been vital in helping to train and upskill employees, such as Spearman, to fill crucial healthcare roles while taking on more responsibility and increasing their earning potential.
“SolutionHealth is committed to finding new ways to attract and retain talent to our organizations to care for our those in communities now and for years to come,” said Leonard Pansa, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer for SolutionHealth. “Staffing across the healthcare industry has faced serious challenges. Our ongoing partnership with the Community College System of New Hampshire is one example of how we are overcoming these challenges. We are grateful to Manchester Community College for their dedication to working with us to grow talent for Elliot Health System and Southern New Hampshire Health.”
Spearman is one example of success from the ApprenticeshipNH and SolutionHealth partnership, which has led the two organizations to continue working together to address workforce challenges in healthcare.
“We are just getting started—more opportunities are ahead in our work together,” Pansa added.
Registered Apprenticeships are a proven solution for businesses with workforce shortages to hire and retain workers while acting as an opportunity for jobseekers to earn immediate employment with steadily increasing wages and develop new skills in high-demand fields. The addition of the ApprenticeshipNH-High School team is proving to play an integral role in the development of a talent pipeline by connecting sponsors with high school students through a pre-apprenticeship to Registered Apprenticeship pathway. Programs focus on opportunities within the advanced manufacturing, automotive technology, biomedical technology, business and finance, construction and infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality and information technology sectors. To date, hundreds of individuals and dozens of companies have benefitted from the program. ApprenticehipNH was established in 2017 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Visit ApprenticeshipNH.org for more information.