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.