On January 9, Molly Robertson — the very first apprentice in the Cascade Veterinary Clinics Registered Apprenticeship Program — began her veterinary training in an apprenticeship program unlike any other in Washington state or the nation. This new beginning for Molly came as a result of the huge victory won in Olympia on October 25, 2022, when the Washington State Apprenticeship Training Council unanimously approved the Cascade Veterinary Clinics Apprenticeship Program for Licensed Veterinary Technician and Veterinary Assistant occupations.

SkillSource and Cascade Veterinary Clinics (CVC), based in Wenatchee, partnered to develop this innovative program that provides apprenticeships in veterinary care to meet an area shortage in veterinary workers. At the same time, the program provides a pathway for aspiring veterinary care professionals to “earn while they learn” close to home, and opens doors for students who may not otherwise have opportunity to pursue veterinary education.

SkillSource helped steer the program through rigorous State regulatory processes, lent technical expertise in the development of apprenticeship programs, and garnered grant funding to make the program possible in conjunction with Career Connect WA. SkillSource and CVC continue to collaborate with North Central Educational Service District, Wenatchee Valley College, and Wenatchee High School to build courses that ensure robust learning.

Previously, the opportunity to sit for the licensed veterinary technician certification was only possible after completion of a two-year certificate program at a handful of colleges in Washington state, and fewer than 25% of annual job vacancies were filled by graduates of existing programs.

To watch a video and learn more about the Cascade Veterinary Clinics Licensed Veterinary Technician and Veterinary Assistant Apprenticeship Programs, visit cascadevetclinics.com/apprenticeship.