Cass Health Awarded Grant for New Apprenticeship Program for Nursing Careers

April 24, 2023

ATLANTIC, IOWA – Iowa Workforce Development announced that Cass Health received $849,240 in grant funding through Iowa’s Health Careers Registered Apprenticeship Program. With a goal of serving 70 apprentices, Cass Health has developed strategic workforce planning initiatives focusing on growing nursing careers including Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Registered Nurses. 

Over the past several months, Cass Health facilitated conversations with schools in Cass County, including Atlantic Community School District, CAM Community School District, and Griswold Community School District, as well as Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), to discuss the potential of developing a healthcare registered apprenticeship program for Cass County, focusing on the nursing pathway. 

“Cass Health is committed to developing programs to grow our local talent pipeline by attracting, hiring, and employing the best and brightest healthcare professionals in our community. It’s very exciting to be at this point where now that we have this grant funding, which will complement our existing career pathways initiatives and allow us to finally begin a robust apprenticeship program to assist individuals towards their goal of a nursing career,” stated Chief Human Resources Officer Kolton Hewlett. 

In addition to a high school-based apprenticeship program, the Cass Health apprenticeship program will also include an adult track for existing Cass Health employees and others in the community interested in pursuing a career in nursing. This program will provide an alternative pathway to health education, degrees, and certifications, including a combination of on-the-job learning and related training instruction traditionally taught in a classroom setting. 

“We are committed to growing local talent while at the same time retaining as many of our apprenticeship participants as employees and residents of our rural service area after they complete their education,” said Hewlett. 

The Iowa’s Health Careers Registered Apprenticeship Program was established in 2022 to help increase healthcare careers in the state. A total of $13.5 million was awarded to 21 programs to support 1,463 apprentices in nursing, EMT, behavioral health, substance abuse, and other key healthcare career fields.  

More information about the application process for the Cass Health apprentice program will be announced this summer.