Evaluation Design Options for the Long-Term Care Registered Apprenticeship Program. 4.2. Size of the Programs


LTC RAP is a program characterized by a large number of programs spread across four different occupations with few apprentices in each program (Anderson et al., 2010 ). As of May 2011, the entire LTC RAP consists of 119 training programs, 954 active apprentices, a total of 1,347 people who have ever completed an apprenticeship, and overall, a total of 4,376 apprentices who had ever participated in the program. Based on national Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Data System (RAPIDS) data, LTC RAPs have a median size of only six active apprentices. As of May 2011, there were only about seven sites with more than 25 active apprentices. The size of the LTC RAPs visited for the case studies ranged from eight to 183 active apprentices as of May 2011 (Kuehn et al., 2011). Moreover, the active apprentices are divided up among the four occupations; 515 CNAs, 284 DSSs, 107 HSSs, and 48 HHAs. CNAs account for half of the total number of apprentices.

The large number of small programs has several important evaluation design implications. First, in order to obtain a large enough sample size to detect statistically significant results in the outcome variables, such as the annual turnover rate, it will be necessary to include all or at least a large share of LTC RAPs and LTC RAP current and former apprentices. Including all 119 programs will mean collecting the data by mail or telephone surveys rather than in person since it will be too expensive to visit each program.

Second, because of the relatively small number of apprentices within the different occupations, the ability to conduct subgroup analysis is limited. While analysis of the program as a whole will be possible, statistical power analyses suggest that subgroup analysis of occupations will need to be limited to CNAs and DSSs. The number of people in the HHA and HSS LTC RAPs is too small for subgroup analyses.

Third, with some exceptions, within each facility/agency, the number of people who have received training through the apprenticeship program is a small proportion of the total number of workers for participating long-term care employers. As a result, the impacts on facility/agency-level outcomes, such as turnover and retention and quality of care, may be small because there is not a critical mass of people to affect those organization-level outcomes.

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