State approves apprenticeship program for hospital workers

State officials have approved Maryland's first apprenticeship for environmental care supervisors. Apprentices will receive technical instruction through the Community College of Baltimore County and be paired with mentors Baltimore-area hospitals. Trainees' wages will increase when they show proficiency in a list of predetermined job functions. Johns Hopkins Hospital will be the first institution to offer the on-the-job training. Apprenticeships offer a way for job seekers to advance in a career without needing a four-year degree, said Laura Spada, executive director of the Baltimore Alliance, a nonprofit that works to address the shortage of qualified health care workers in Baltimore.