HealthCARE (Creating Access to Rural Education) Montana is a collaborative project that helps train, recruit, and retain healthcare professionals in rural and frontier Montana by:
  • Helping prospective students identify and access pathways toward a healthcare certificate or 2-year degree, as well as supporting them throughout their healthcare education to ensure academic success;
  • Developing an accelerated nursing curriculum to guide healthcare providers toward higher levels of practice and to ease the nursing shortage in Montana;

  • Increasing opportunities for on-the-job training by developing healthcare apprenticeships; and

  • Building and sustaining a rural, "home-grown" healthcare workforce that serves the smallest communities in the farthest regions of Montana.

HealthCARE is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the United States, and most of the related occupations require workers to have skills that meet the needs of rapidly changing healthcare environments. HealthCARE Montana is a partnership between the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and many of Montana’s two-year colleges. The partnership builds a pathway to training programs that will meet the current and future needs of organizations in one of Montana’s key economic sectors—healthcare. Want to get started in an exciting, in-demand career in healthcare? View our application.

What Employers Are Saying

A unique, innovative feature of the HealthCARE Montana grant is the opportunity for healthcare employers to vocalize their employment needs to the involved educators. Workforce Coordinators located in each Montana AHEC regions utilize several methods to gather employer response on workforce topics and to provide feedback to the Curriculum Committees who are shaping new curricula that will better meet current health care employment needs.

To view more up to date information about "What Employers Are Saying" please view the following HealthCARE Montana webpage. 

Workforce Coordinators - The Employer Connection

Workforce Coordinators are primarily focused on the overall synchronization of the regional planning and development for the project, as well as helping to bridge the healthcare worker skills gap by connecting job seekers with great job opportunities in the medical field.

Workforce Coordinators facilitate discussions between education and healthcare employers to create and sustain cooperative relationships in order to develop projects, training programs, and identify strategies to create a rapid response to the constantly changing healthcare workforce needs.

View a list of HealthCARE Montana's Workforce Coordinators.


HealthCARE Montana partners with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to develop health care apprenticeships which have demonstrated to both reduce unemployment through better employer alignment and to increase opportunities for underserved populations. Presently, Montana has no healthcare apprenticeship programs. Using the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program (MRAP), HealthCARE Montana will work with the healthcare industry to provide opportunities for students to earn while they learn, provide additional avenues for expanded industry participation in the design and delivery of workforce development programs in healthcare, and provide additional entry points into healthcare degree pathways through pre-apprenticeship programs.

View more information.

Training Programs

HealthCARE Montana is systematically improving the way healthcare education is being provided in Montana. Using the following programs, it is strengthening the ability to deliver relevant education to an increasing number of healthcare professionals to meet the growing needs of Montana's healthcare industry.

For a list of training program and more information, visit our website.

Participating Colleges

HealthCARE Montana's College Consortium Agreement consists of 15 of Montana's two-year colleges, four of those being tribal colleges. The presidents and chancellors of the 15 colleges that comprise the consortium have committed to full supporting of the projects and goals of HealthCARE Montana at their institutions.

View a list of participating college and more information.

Map of Participating Colleges 

Industry Partners

Montana health care employers and organizations provide direct input at the committee level but most of the feedback comes through a rapid response communication process with providers around the state (link to diagram) where regional Workforce Coordinators visit with employers on an individual basis to gather immediate feedback on health care issues (link to assessment, etc.). 

A number of employers participate in regional and statewide workforce advisory councils for more in-depth discussion about health care workforce related topics and advisement on grant related issues. Most of the employers listed participated in the initial assessment (link) conducted in the summer of 2015 that provided the foundation for the employer input to the curriculum adaptions.

To view the most current list of Montana health care employers and organizations that have joined HealthCARE Montana, please visit our webpage.