The Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA) has been selected to receive an award of $9.7 million directed to Alaska as one of 32 national recipients of the U.S. Economic Development Administration Good Jobs Challenge grant.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Good Jobs Challenge was created to meet the needs of both American workers and industry by breaking down historical barriers in the workforce training system. The grant funds allocated to Alaska will allow for one of the biggest efforts to date to offer Alaskans free and low-cost healthcare training and career opportunities.
“Alaska’s health care workers have dealt with enormous adversity the last few years, and this funding will be a great boost to our workforce and to Alaskans who depend on our having a strong, vital health care system,” said APCA CEO Nancy Merriman. “APCA is excited to collaborate with Alaska community health centers and other key partners to expand workforce development programs statewide.”
The grant funds will be used to increase the scope and reach of APCA’s statewide Apprenticeship program, support youth career development and outreach, and create pathways for Alaskans to improve their lives through meaningful employment in Alaska’s health centers and within the broader health care system.
AHHA is a sub-grantee and is excited to be teaming up with APCA and a number of notable organizations and partners to meet the challenge. “Alaskans depend on having effective, quality health care when they need it most,” said Alaska Hospital & Healthcare Association (AHHA) CEO Jared Kosin. “This grant is a critical step forward in finding solutions for long-standing workforce challenges that will further efforts to rebuild and advance Alaska's future healthcare workforce.”
The impact is expected to be far reaching for all Alaskans. “This funding is an amazing opportunity to train new health care workers all across Alaska and provide access to high-quality care for those who need it most,” said APCA Health Equity Director, Mari Selle. “Alaskans benefit when we can train and hire our neighbors to better deliver health services closer to home.”