People Helping People

Every other week beginning February 22, West Michigan Works! (WMW!) will highlight the five high-demand industries in our region: agribusiness, construction, health care, information technology and manufacturing. This week, WMW! and the West Michigan Health Careers Council are shining a light on careers in the health care industry. 

Did you know that nearly 90,000 individuals work in health care in West Michigan? Some of the largest employers in our region are health care systems, and they need workers with all levels of education and interests to successfully protect our communities’ health and wellbeing. 

You don’t have to have a doctorate or even a bachelor’s degree to find a successful career in health care. An entry level position can get your foot in the door, and through a variety of training opportunities, you can advance professionally. A job in health care offers a pathway for career growth and success while making a difference in the lives of patients and their families. 

Get Started in Health Care as Medical Assistant 

A great example of how to grow within the field is through West Michigan Works! Medical Assistant Registered Apprenticeship Program (MARAP). The year-long program provides participants with both classroom and hands-on, clinical experience. Participants receive a paycheck for their clinical training work and, with help from WMW!, can access a variety of funding sources so they can graduate with little to no out-of-pocket costs. Applications are now being accepted for the next MARAP cohort. Learn more and apply online at 

Medical assistant is one of the most high-demand jobs in West Michigan. This means that employers are looking to fill these positions now and that need will continue to grow. Many times, health care systems will pay for additional training and education for their current staff, including medical assistants. This allows workers to grow and move on to higher-level jobs, like registered nurse, and higher pay! 

Health Care has a Place for Everyone 

Health care is an industry made of people helping people. If you aren’t interested in working in a clinical setting, you can still make a difference in an administrative role like human resources, finance or information technology. There is something for everyone in the health care field! 

Learn more about the health care industry and the exciting career opportunities available in West Michigan at