First Shift to Offer Transitions into Health Care Careers

October 18, 2018

MISSOULA – The Western Montana Area Health Education Center at the University of Montana will host 1st Shift, a one-day pilot, entry-level health care career exposure program, next month for Flathead County residents.

The program, in collaboration with Flathead Valley Community College and several Kalispell agencies and health care facilities, will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at FVCC.

Targeted toward nontraditional students, displaced workers, veterans and students in gap years in Flathead County, 1st Shift was developed after the WMT-AHEC Advisory Board determined that the greatest immediate need for Montana small western rural hospitals is recruitment of qualified individuals to fill entry-level hospital and clinical positions.

“Montana’s workforce and education systems continue to implement strategies to make worker training more affordable, accessible and aligned with the needs of our economy,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in last month’s Labor Day Report. “Businesses and workforce professionals should continue to encourage students to seek out in-demand fields needed in our economy. Education organizations should persist in increasing the efficiency and flexibility of training, allowing adults already in the labor force to learn new skills while still working.”

 The 1st Shift program will feature an entry-level health care employee panel with employer roundtables focusing on job shadows, apprenticeships, available training, job openings and educational financial assistance.

Online registration is open until Friday, Oct. 26, at, or interested applicants may pick up an application at Kalispell Job Service. Child care and lunch are provided. Call Martha Robertson, program coordinator, at 406-243-7946 with any questions.

The Western Montana Area Health Education Center continues to work on strategies to connect students to careers, professionals to communities and communities to better health. The 1st Shift program will serve as a model for other Montana counties struggling to recruit and retain a health care workforce.


Contact: Martha Robertson, UM Western Montana Area Health Education Center program coordinator, 406-243-4746,