Simplified: A new pilot program at Sanford Health is giving people in Sioux Falls the opportunity to test out different jobs in healthcare throughout a first-of-its-kind four-week apprenticeship. Here's what you need to know about the Genesis Program.

Why it matters

  • Unemployment rates are very low in Sioux Falls – about 1.5% as of January – which means filling open jobs is increasingly difficult for employers. And in the healthcare field, a lot of jobs that support the work of doctors and nurses are hurting, Sanford Talent Acquisition Analyst Miranda Pfund.
  • But, Pfund also knows that many people who are currently employed are thinking about a career switch. Applicants do not need to have specific education credentials – in fact, they do not even need a high school diploma to be eligible to participate. All training needed will be provided by Sanford.
  • The Genesis Program is also unique because of its duration. Most career apprenticeships run for a year (or several), but the Genesis Program is only four weeks long in an effort to quickly give people a chance to both learn hands-on from the people they'd actually be working with – all while getting paid.
"This program provides more than just, 'Am I going to be capable of counting pills in the pharmacy?'" said Caitlin Eigenberg, talent acquisition program administrator. "It's also, 'Is a career in healthcare for me?'"

Tell me more about the apprenticeship program

Right now, it's a pilot program starting with a cohort of 10 people. Each person will get a chance to work for five days each in three different jobs.

  • They'll also be able to choose which jobs interest them from a list of 10 available through the program.

The goal at the end is for apprentices to get an offer for a permanent job, Eigenberg said.

What types of jobs are we talking about?

To start, there are 10 jobs available for apprentices to choose from as they're testing the waters. Jobs tend to fall into categories of either clinical or non-clinical, as well as patient-facing or not so much.

The full list includes:

  • Maintenance mechanic
  • Patient transporter
  • Patient access representative
  • Security officer
  • Laboratory assistant
  • Logistics technician
  • Dialysis technician
  • Durable medical equipment specialist
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Associate sterile processing technician.

What happens next?

The pilot group is expected to start March 11. Applications are open now until, likely, the end of February, Eigenberg said.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Eigenberg's name.