New apprenticeship program aims to help underserved communities

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — Troy University is officially the first in Alabama to welcome a registered community health worker apprenticeship program.

“The apprenticeship will be where the trainees of the community health workers and future community health workers actually have their on-the-job learning experiences,” John Garner, Professor/Dean, College of Health and Human Services said. “That’s where the rubber meets the road.”

The new partnership aims to train and place community health workers in underserved areas of Alabama to combat lack of access to medical care.

“By providing opportunities for apprentices to earn while they learn at the same time, we’re also meeting needs where individuals will be able to get the healthcare needs met,” explained Tawanna Robinson with the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship. “Whether they’re medical health care needs mental health just meeting those aspects for those underserved communities.”

The community health partnership stems from a three million dollar grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was announced in October of 2022.

“This is just the first step so as we do this, we have certain areas that we’re focusing on we’ll learn from,” Garner told TrojanVision. “We can take the the lessons that we learned and apply that to different regions throughout the state.”

According to program leaders, students involved in the apprenticeship program will receive funding to help them complete the program.