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Expansion of health sciences education to address talent needs in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (MiBiz) – A partnership between three community colleges and Grand Rapids-area care providers brings a traditional model for training talent into a new area: health care.

Grand Rapids Community College, Muskegon Community College and Montcalm Community College teamed with West Michigan Works! to form a pilot apprenticeship program to train and employ medical assistants at local health care organizations.

An example of the growing academic offerings in the region in burgeoning health sciences fields, the program to start will train a minimum of 40 medical assistants a year who will spend six months working at one of the partnering care providers while they are enrolled in college and earning their certification.

Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and Cherry Health have signed on to support the program.

The efforts seek to take what traditionally has been a model used to train talent in the skilled trades and manufacturing sectors and use it to address worker shortages in health care.

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