Press Release from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security
Date: February 1, 2021
Jackson, MS —
Memorial Hospital at Gulfport and Singing River Health System are the first hospitals in Mississippi to receive approval from the US Department of Labor (US-DOL) for apprenticeship training in health care fields beginning this spring. This statement was announced today, Friday, January 29, 2021, by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) in partnership with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC).
The Mississippi Apprenticeship Program (MAP), an initiative of MDES, is funded by US-DOL’s Apprenticeship USA to expand registered apprenticeship. MAP’s goal is to expand opportunities for apprenticeship throughout the state, but until now, there have been no apprenticeship opportunities in healthcare in Mississippi. As the demand for health care professionals is rising, hospitals are seeking innovative ways to grow their workforce through training and recruitment. The expansion of registered apprenticeships to include healthcare will help them produce well-trained workers.
“The Registered Apprenticeship workforce model is a combination of On-the-Job training and classroom learning. Apprentices will receive robust training, incremental pay increases, and mentorship. It is exciting to see these major Coast Healthcare providers embrace the Apprenticeship workforce model,” said Jackie Turner, Executive Director for MDES.
Both hospitals are working with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College to create pathways to meet the need for trained healthcare professionals. Memorial Hospital has been approved for two programs, and Singing River Health System has been approved for three of them.
“We’ve had a long-standing relationship with MGCCC, working together to meet the healthcare needs of our community by preparing students to enter the workforce,” said Kent Nicaud, Memorial Hospital President/CEO. “We are committed to ensuring that we support resources necessary to the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) apprenticeships, LPN and Registered Nurse (RN) career path programs, and RN extern programs. This initiative embodies a natural progression of our partnership, with the mutual goal of improved patient outcomes through the development of talented individuals. During this time of critical shortage of healthcare industry professionals, we can continue to serve the evolving needs of our community with unique solutions.”
“Our programs in partnership with MGCCC are a testament to a strong commitment to our community by creating rewarding career opportunities right here at home,” said Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer, Singing River Health System. “This collaboration will provide real-life, hands-on training at our facilities, ensuring successful futures for local students, and advancing our mission to improve health and save lives in South Mississippi.”
Additional training programs and opportunities for Gulf Coast citizens and MGCCC students may be on the horizon as the demands for health care workers grow.
“Through these approvals, we will be able to provide incredible opportunities for individuals interested in the health sciences field,” said Dr. Mary S. Graham, MGCCC president. “The apprenticeship offerings and our existing programs will allow Memorial Hospital and Singing River Health System to recruit new employees or provide training to existing employees who wish to advance their careers.”