Catholic Medical Center Fills Workforce Gaps through Apprenticeships

Published 4/20/2018

A nationally-renowned hospital in Manchester is tapping new resources to help fill key clinical positions. Catholic Medical Center (CMC) has launched a new medical assistant registered apprenticeship program. The program is made possible through a partnership with Manchester Community College (MCC) and the ApprenticeshipNH program, which seeks to address workforce needs in various sectors throughout the state through a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Eight apprentices will complete the inaugural program, which will prepare them to sit for their Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam.

“The CMC apprenticeship program allows us to address the workforce challenges we face,” said Merryll Rosenfeld, vice president of human resources for Catholic Medical Center. “Healthcare recruiting has become more challenging, and the ApprenticeshipNH program creates a great new pathway to fill positions while offering career growth to the candidates. This new program enables CMC to build partnerships and develop new talent, customized to CMC’s standards and practices. By providing hands-on experience, apprentices can learn directly from healthcare professionals in a real-world environment, which is an invaluable experience.”

The eight initial participants in the CMC apprenticeship program are a mixture of incumbent CMC employees and newly-hired employees whose jobs with the company begin with the program. The program will start with 480 hours of classroom instruction, which will be completed over the course of one year at MCC. The classroom portion of the program is rigorous, comprising a full-time course load, Monday through Friday, and will include classroom time, lab hours, and a practicum which will occur at a CMC outpatient facility.

“This apprenticeship program enables participants to deal with the rigors of working as a medical assistant throughout the course of their apprenticeship,” said Emily Zeien, grant manager for ApprenticeshipNH.

The program is front-loaded, which means that apprentices must complete all of the classroom instruction hours at Manchester Community College prior to moving into their on-the-job training.

“By requiring apprentices to complete the classroom portion first, we ensure that they have the education they need to succeed when it comes time to put their knowledge to the test in a real-life healthcare environment,” Zeien said. “By requiring participants to attend school full-time, they gain an understanding of the field and the job before completing any of their on-the-job training hours. This method ensures that apprentices are well-prepared and fully equipped to meet the needs of the medical assistant position.”

The registered apprenticeship program at CMC also requires one year of on-the-job training, which equates to 3,600 hours of training. At that point, apprentices may sit for the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant exam, the national certification exam for medical assistants.

Throughout the course of the apprenticeship, participants will earn wages with incremental raises as the program progresses. During the 480-hour classroom portion, apprentices will earn a training wage: $10 per hour for the first 320 hours; and $11 per hour for the next 160 hours. Wages increase during the on-the-job training portion of the program to $12 per hour for the first 1,000 hours, and $13.50 per hour for the remaining 2,600 hours.
To learn more about the ApprenticeshipNH program, including additional apprenticeship and sponsorship opportunities, visit, or contact Emily Zeien at

About Catholic Medical Center

CMC, a member of GraniteOne Health, is one of New Hampshire’s largest medical centers with a commitment to delivering the highest quality and most advanced healthcare to patients across New Hampshire. CMC is the home of the nationally-renowned New England Heart & Vascular Institute, rated among the top cardiovascular programs in the country. CMC’s birthing unit, The Mom’s Place, was the first hospital in the country to have a neonatal unit based on "couplet care.” With primary care practices that care for the very young to the young at heart and our dedication to community outreach programs, CMC is helping to foster a healthier community, everyday.

About ApprenticeshipNH

The ApprenticeshipNH Program, housed at the Community College System of New Hampshire, is a unique effort that prepares workers as Registered Apprentices to better compete in the modern workforce. Focusing on the Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Information Technology sectors, the ApprenticeshipNH Program provides workers with invaluable opportunities to pursue highly-skilled, high-paying jobs, and opportunities for employers seeking to build a qualified workforce in NH. The program is funded through a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

About Manchester Community College

Manchester Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, and offers more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs for transfer and career training. Associate degree programs include advanced manufacturing, allied health, automotive technologies, business studies, computer science, education, electrical technology, HVAC, liberal arts and sciences, and welding. MCC also offers professional and workforce development, and customized corporate training. MCC is committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the “65 by 25 Initiative,” which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of post-secondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands. For more information, visit