Community Health Workers Apprenticeship Program

Access to Wholistic and Productive Living Inc., (AWPLI) is a health and social justice 501 C 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Prince George’s County Maryland since 2007. provides a variety of community health services nationwide. The mission of Access to Wholistic and Productive Living Inc. (Access), is to promote sustainable health and improve the quality of life by addressing public health and public education needs.

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Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables a CHW to serve as a liaison to, link to, or intermediary between health and social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery. A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self‐sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, the provision of information to support individuals in the community, social support, and advocacy.

Community Health Workers (CHW) act as intermediaries between the community and healthcare and social service systems in-order to ensure that community members are able to access services that meet their needs. CHWs’ responsibilities include outreach, community education, patient advocacy, and informal counseling. CHWs have emerged as an asset in healthcare delivery today.

Apprenticeships are emerging as a new approach to training front-line healthcare workers to fulfill a growing need for experience and practice in the field.

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An apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study (classroom work and reading). Apprenticeships can also enable practitioners to qualify for a certification to practice in a profession. Most of their training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade, expand their skills or positions themselves as leaders, in exchange for their continued labor for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies.

The Maryland Department of Labor on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 announced that the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Council approved and registered Access to Wholistic and Productive Living, Inc., Community Health Workers Apprenticeship Program. Community Health Worker is a new program that has not previously been available in Maryland through registered apprenticeship.

ACHWA Training Program framework is based from Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, and LaGuardia Community College. The core competencies and skills are integrated into ACHWA training curriculum and was adopted from the Maryland Department of Health CHW Service Division.

Access to Wholistic and Productive Living Inc., in partnership with Net. America Inc., and the Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) Workforce Development Department collaborated to develop and implement Access Community Health Workers Apprenticeship Program (ACHWA), the first and only CHWs apprenticeship training in the state of Maryland. Students are recruited through AWPLI resources, PGCC, Employ Prince George’s Inc, numerous workforce development agencies, and health care providers.

ACHWA training classes are held at the Prince George’s Community College and over the past 3 months virtually. The program combines 144 classroom instructions with 2,000 hours of on-the-job monitored learning. Paid apprentices work in multiple healthcare facilities under the guidance of incumbent CHWs and other healthcare providers to learn firsthand the skills required for this position. This program is one of the first to provide a certificate from Prince George’s Community College and training for the CHW position through a competency-based learning approach, and one of the first registered apprenticeships in Maryland. Upon successful completion of the 2144 hours program, participants received a credential from the Maryland Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeships.

ELIGBILITY for CHW Apprenticeship training:

  • Students must be 18 years of age and older
  • Residence of Maryland
  • High school diploma or equivalence
  • Able to perform all required job duties
  • Pass standard reading exam
  • 100% classroom attendance
  • 18 years and older
  • Reliable and trusting
  • Practice confidentiality

ELIGBILITY for CHW Apprenticeship Financial Aid:

  • Unemployed
  • Low-income
  • Reside in Maryland
  • 18 years and older
  • Able to perform all required job duties
  • Pass standard reading exam
  • 100% classroom attendance

Currently:

  • 13 apprentices have completed the 144 class-room training,
  • Virtually training have been provided to the students
  • 100% of the apprentices are working
  • 98% of the graduates have promised employment before completing the program
  • There were (4) four students under the age of 24 enrolled in ACHWA
  • Through a well-organized webinar creating interaction and engagement among 52 individuals, CHW apprentice shared information related to mental health among youth, CORVID:19 pandemic, stress management and other topics.
  • Extending learning as related to the COVID:19, racial injustices and providing updated information on health disparities especially among disadvantaged African American families during a pandemic.
  • Introduction to contact tracing training.

 

classroom learning 1st Completed Cohort
CLASSROOM SETTING 1st COHORT

Take a look at our CHW apprentice graduate testimonials!

Dr. Bettye Muwwakkil is the founder and Director of Access Community Health Workers and Executive Director of Access to Wholistic and Productive Living, Inc.

For further information: bettye@awpli.org | 240 264 0878