Missouri Dept. of Mental Health creates apprenticeship program for direct support professionals

(Alayna Chapie/KFVS)
Updated: Apr. 5, 2022 at 8:07 PM EDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3/Edited News Release) - The Missouri Department of Mental Health and other agencies have developed Missouri Talent Pathways, an apprenticeship program to recruit and retain direct support professionals.

The program is touted as one of the first of its kind in the nation and was recently approved by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.

According to an announcement from Gov. Mike Parson’s Office, Missouri Talent Pathways “blends on-the-job mentoring with technical instruction and culminates in participants receiving a certificate as a Certified Direct Support Professional. As a registered apprenticeship intermediary, the Division and its community partners will have access to an expanded applicant pool, traditional workforce development programs, and a career ladder framework for direct support professionals.”

“This registered apprenticeship will increase career opportunities to more Missourians and is a great example of the kind of innovation that occurs in state government,” said Gov. Parson. “It’s programs like this one, that allow Missouri to consistently rank among the top states for apprenticeship opportunities. We look forward to this program helping expand health care workforce solutions while improving our ability to care for some of Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens.”

“The public health emergency truly magnified the impact of the staffing crisis within DMH and our community partners,” said DMH Director Valerie Huhn. “This apprenticeship is a piece of the larger solution to help us stabilize the direct support professional workforce by constructing a solid career pathway.”

For more information on the apprenticeship program and how to apply for it, CLICK HERE.

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