Case Studies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Organization:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Benefit:Skilled Workforce

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading national public health institute of the United States. Through a collaboration between the CDC and the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Training Administration, the CDC developed a registered apprenticeship program in alignment with the CDC’s Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program (PHIFP). The PHIFP provides on-the-job training for professionals to apply expertise in information science, computer science, and information technology to address current and future informatics needs. PHIFP is the first public health fellowship program designated as a registered apprenticeship program.

Prior to the partnership, the CDC had minimal knowledge of apprenticeship programs. It took between seven and nine months to develop the PHIFP. Once established, vacancies were advertised on USAJOBS and job vacancy announcements listed on CDC does not use traditional competitive hiring authorities but instead relies on the excepted service hiring authority. PHIFP requires a doctorate or master’s degree due to the nature of the work required. A qualifying degree must be from an accredited academic institution in one of the following: public health, medicine, health care, or health-services research; computer science, information science, or information systems; statistics; epidemiology; or public health informatics or related discipline. While the program is competency-based, training is typically conducted over a two-year period. Apprentices can make arrangements during the course of their apprenticeship program to be placed with state and local departments of health.

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