Characteristics of Long-Term Care Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Implications for Evaluation Design. 3.2. Participation Incentives

09/13/2011

All sites provide a wage progression as a participation incentive for their LTC RAP (Table 2). At Developmental Services, wages for new job entrants begin at $7.25 per hour, and increase by at least $1.25 per hour after the initial apprenticeship training is completed. Developmental Services does not offer a wage increase with the completion of each competency training or with the completion of the program, as several of the other registered apprenticeship programs do. The Good Samaritan facilities in Boise and Idaho Falls offer an incentive of $0.25 and $0.50 wage increase after the completion of each core competency training, respectively, although staff at Good Samaritan’s national campus stated that not all of its sites offer a wage increase because they cannot afford it. Home Care Associates provides a $0.20 wage increase after the completion of each competency training, for a typical total wage increase of $1.20 from a base hourly wage of $8.50. Home Care Associates also offers apprentices a one-time $200 bonus upon completion of the LTC RAP. Air Force Villages offers either a wage increase and/or a bonus only upon the completion of the program, which is worth up to 8% of salary for employees, who start working at $9.09 per hour. Agape’s classroom training lasts approximately 1 year, and it provides a wage increase of “a quarter every quarter” from a base wage of $9.00-$11.00, depending on experience. This raise was very important to Agape apprentices, but almost all apprentices noted that they had not been informed about the wage progression before starting the apprenticeship. The wage progression for the initial year of the Agape apprenticeship is supported by a $1,000 tax credit for each apprenticeship offered by the state.

Non-pecuniary participation incentives include the pride and value associated with certification of completion of the apprenticeship. In Indiana, registered apprenticeship is one of three methods of earning direct support certification from the state. While certification is not required for developmental support specialists in Indiana at this time, Developmental Services managers anticipate that the state will 1 day mandate certification and believe that their LTC RAP prepares staff for this eventuality. Completing an apprenticeship is also a matter of pride and distinction for the apprentices, particularly at the three sites where apprentices are selected for training out a pool of incumbent workers. Since the long-term care industry typically affords few opportunities for advancement, the additional distinction of being selected for the program provides recognition of apprentice achievements among their peers. Apprentices at Home Care Associates mentioned the pride they took in their status within the organization as a motivating factor in completing the training before they noted the wage incentives. Apprentices at Good Samaritan and Air Force Villages shared this emphasis on the sense of achievement associated with completing the LTC RAP. The pride felt by Agape staff was reinforced by the fact that they were distinguished from their peers by their supervisors as examples to follow. One apprentice kept her certificate of completion at work and was particularly satisfied the certificate is endorsed by Northeastern Technical College. Agape apprentices have also received coverage in local print media.

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