Our latest research, Ramping Up Medical Assistants in the COVID-19 Recovery: A Case for Registered Apprenticeships, describes the labor market for medical assistants in the Puget Sound region and estimates the return on investment (ROI) of setting up a Medical Assistant (MA) apprenticeship.

The key recommendations are:

  • Registered MA Apprenticeship programs can help strengthen supply by attracting students with a paid training option and increasing the number of MAs in the local labor market.
  • Medical assistant apprentices could also help organizations face renewed demand for personal care services stimulated by an aging population and greater health coverage.
  • However, the high upfront costs needed to set up and manage the program can discourage employers.
  • There are three primary ways to offset these upfront costs: First, the Washington College Grant could offer eligible MA students tuition waivers, helping them access the medical assistant occupation. Second, existing state and federal funding sources can also help address barriers to implement MA Apprenticeship programs. Finally, early recruitment of program management staff would enhance coordination between the provider’s administrative services, which would reinforce the support system for students enabling them to perform well in the program.

This report was funded by the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and developed in partnership with Seattle-King County Healthcare Industry Leadership Table, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Multi-Employer Training and Education Fund, and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. 

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