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News Release

Iowa’s Ottumwa Job Corps Center now nation’s first to offer registered apprenticeship program

Nationally recognized nursing assistant designation further empowers grads

OTTUMWA, Iowa – Southeastern Iowa’s Ottumwa Job Corps Center is now the nation’s first to offer a registered apprenticeship program from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Given by the department’s Office of Apprenticeship, the designation enables the center’s certified nursing assistant students to obtain a nationally recognized advanced certification accepted at any hospital, nursing home or care center in Iowa and transferable to any state in the nation.

“This registered apprenticeship program is a game-changer for the Ottumwa Job Corps Center,” said Mark Douglas, center director at Ottumwa. “The advanced training we can now offer our students better prepares them for the workforce, makes them more valuable to employers, and opens the door to higher-paying job opportunities both in Iowa and across the country.”

Students in Ottumwa’s current CNA program currently complete a 75-hour training program. For those who enroll in the registered apprenticeship program, the center will offer a more extensive, competency-based training program. In partnership with local hospitals, care centers and nursing homes, students in the apprenticeship program will complete an additional four weeks of clinical hours, totaling 160 hours. Credits earned in the program are eligible for transfer to any of Iowa’s community colleges to allow students to continue their training at the college level.

“We are so pleased to work with the Ottumwa Job Corps Center to offer their students the best career training and education available,” said Greer Sisson, Iowa state director of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship. “These apprenticeship programs are beneficial to all involved: Students receive an advanced level of hands-on training in real work environments, health care employers in Iowa and other states have more highly qualified candidates to consider and the Ottumwa Job Corps Center will become a more highly desired destination for students.”

The designation also gives the center the flexibility to shift training focus to specific skills and training based on current and local industry needs. A partnership among the department’s Office of Apprenticeship, the Ottumwa Job Corps Center, the Iowa Direct Care Advisory Council, the University of Iowa, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Iowa Care Givers came together to draft the program’s curriculum and standards. Moving forward, the center has plans to review its four other career training areas and seek apprenticeship status for those programs as well.

Job Corps is the nation’s largest career technical training and education program for low-income young people ages 16 through 24 providing services to approximately 60,000 young people each year at 126 centers in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To learn more about Job Corps call (800) 733-JOBS (5627) or visit Job Corps online at or

Employment and Training Administration
November 16, 2016
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Contact: Scott Allen
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Contact: Rhonda Burke
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