This article was originally published as part of the Grow PA solutions journalism project, published by and underwritten in part by The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

Cheryl Feldman, executive director of the District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, explains how apprenticeships can be a boon for the healthcare industry.

When Amber Burney crossed the stage at the recent graduation and achievement ceremony hosted by Philadelphia’s District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, she was more than a celebrant. She, along with 69 other students, is part of the state’s plan to create a more robust economy by using registered apprenticeships in non-traditional industries.

Long-known as an effective recruitment practice in the building trades, the apprenticeship model is now being applied to the healthcare industry, and it’s yielding promising results.

This year, about 80 individuals were recognized for completing apprenticeship programs that placed them directly into full-time positions, including six community health workers, 15 direct support professionals, 15 direct support professionals and over 30 home health and nursing aides.

Not to mention the 30-some apprentices who landed jobs in early childhood education.

Here’s how it works: Registered apprenticeships are em