College News

Barton Community College and Medicalodges announce new apprenticeship academy

Nursing student practicing taking vitals on mannequin
Barton student practices taking vitals on a mannequin as part of the CNA curriculum.

June 6, 2023
Story by Maggie Harris 
Photo by Joe Vinduska

Barton Community College has partnered with Medicalodges, Inc. to offer a new apprenticeship program blending classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. Medicalodges Academy: Pathway to Learning and Earning will allow students to train in areas such as Registered Nursing (RN), Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN), Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), and Dietary Manager.

Barton Vice President of Instruction Elaine Simmons, said Barton has served area businesses and local industries for years to support workforce development. With the addition of registered apprenticeship programs in the area, the College can extend additional support through on-the-job training, related technical instruction, and industry-recognized credentials.

“The College is offering its support to organizations seeking to use apprenticeships as a tool for recruiting and retaining employees,” she said. “In addition to technical training, apprenticeships can also offer mentorships and wage progression to support employees.”

Medicalodges was chosen as the first partnership to launch the academy because of its commitment to offering the community an opportunity to learn while they earn. Medicalodges Executive Vice President, Shannon Lagers said that they are not only committed to providing quality healthcare but also career and advancement opportunities to their employees and those that live in their communities.

“We know the quality of the services we provide is dependent upon a sufficient and skilled workforce,” she said. “Medicalodges Academy: Learn while you Earn is an avenue to develop that workforce, and we are excited to collaborate with Barton in offering this workforce opportunity."

Great Bend Economic Development President Sara Arnberger said apprenticeships are integral to growing the workforce for the future. They combine mentorship, milestone pay increases, and further the community culture of a company.

“We're so thrilled to see Barton Community College help to facilitate these programs within our area businesses and are equally as thrilled to celebrate Medicalodges and the launch of their new program,” she said. “By forming this apprenticeship collaboration, we are effectively enhancing the workforce of tomorrow, and Great Bend Economic Development is happy to support and champion these efforts."

The community is invited to join the College and Medicalodges from 2-4 p.m. June 14 at 1401 Cherry Lane to learn more about this new opportunity. Academy information will be available throughout the come-and-go event, with opening comments beginning at 2:15 p.m.

According to the 2021 Kansas Wage Survey, employment in fields like nursing and dietary management is expected to grow by five to seven percent by 2030.

Medicalodges, Inc. is a 100 percent employee-owned Kansas-based company with over 1,600 employees and 30 locations across Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. They provide a continuum of care, primarily in rural communities, for older adults and those living with developmental disabilities.