After she was laid off from a manufacturing job, Charina Canete learned about an apprenticeship program, certified by the U.S. Department of Labor and offered by New Hampshire Employment Security, to train clinical medical assistants at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. Apprenticeships help companies recruit, train and retain world-class talent, and build a sustainable workforce in their communities.
Charina had studied nursing before, and was excited by a chance to get into the health care field.
She studied for 10 weeks at the medical center’s Workforce Readiness Institute. It was intense, but her family’s support and the encouragement of her instructors helped her greatly. In 2015, she passed the CCMA exam, and has now worked as a medical assistant in the center’s general internal medicine department for more than two years.
“What I like the most about my job are the patients – especially the geriatric patients – they are so sweet,” Charina said.
She is grateful for her team and the apprenticeship program.
“It gave me the opportunity to provide financially for my family while also giving me a schedule that allows me to spend real quality time with them. I’ve also developed a real support system through the apprenticeship program. From day one, if I had even the smallest question or concern, I could call and there was always someone to take my call, day or night,” she said.
With a career on track, Charina has plans to complete an associate’s degree in nursing. Motivated by his wife’s success, her husband Rhett decided to complete the same apprenticeship program. Now he too works as a certified clinical medical assistant at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
There are more than 500,000 apprentices nationwide, with more apprenticeship opportunities added every day. These earn-while-you-learn training programs provide a clear career path forward through new skills, higher wages and opportunities for advancement. Learn more at www.dol.gov/apprenticeship.
Editor’s note:The “DOL Working for You” series highlights the Labor Department’s programs in action. View other blog posts in the series here.
James Lally is deputy director in the department's Public Affairs office in Boston.