Welcome to DCA’s ‘Earn and Learn’ Page


Health care is one of the largest and growing industries in California. By 2025, there is demand for an additional 250,000 workers in related health care fields, as well as 200,000 workers to replace those that will be retiring.

For more than a decade, hospitals and other health care providers have expressed concerns regarding the limited supply of skilled health care professionals. One study by the California Hospital Association, projects a workforce gap of over one million workers by 2030. Key recommendations among many reports is the lack of clear career pathways for healthcare workers and the need to develop collaborative solutions involving health employers, workers, educators, and other essential partners.

In 2014 the Governor signed AB 1797 (Rodríguez, 2014), which called for the examination of how ‘earn and learn’ strategies can be used to enrich workforce development activities in the allied health fields.

If you have any questions, please email EarnAndLearn@dca.ca.gov.

If you would like to subscribe to DCA’s Interested Parties list for its AB 2105 Implementation, please click here.

What is Earn and Learn?

‘Earn and Learn’ programs are programs that combine applied learning in a workplace setting with paid wages, which in turn allow workers or students to gain work experience and develop skills and competencies directly relevant to the occupation or career for which they are preparing. These programs can also combine classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training (Unemployment Insurance Code §14005).

Examples of "earn and learn" programs include, but not limited to:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Pre-apprenticeships
  • Incumbent worker training
  • Transitional and subsidized employment, particularly for individuals with barriers to employment
  • Paid internships and externships
  • Project-based compensated learning

DCA’s Role

Over the next two years, the Department of Consumer Affairs will be will be conducting a stakeholder process, in relation to a report from the California Workforce Development Board titled "Expanding Earn and Learn Models in the California Health Care Industry,” to update policies and remove barriers to facilitate the development of ‘earn and learn’ training programs in the allied health professions.

DCA welcomes input from all individuals and groups that would like to provide feedback on how the California can facilitate the development of ‘earn and learn’ training programs in the allied health professions.

Following this process, the department will provide the Legislature with a report outlining its efforts and recommendations no later than January 1, 2020 as required by AB 2105 (Rodriguez, 2016).