This brief demonstrates how three Jobs to Careers projects have helped advance frontline health care workers from indigenous American cultures and improved health care services to their Native communities.

Frontline workers usually earn $40,000 per year or less and hold no higher than a high school diploma. They also receive little to no training for higher-paid jobs.

In Native cultures, frontline workers encounter all these barriers—and more. They may feel disconnected from the culture and usual modes of instruction at mainstream academic institutions. Standard educational measures, including tests, can contain cultural biases and fail to measure the full accomplishments and skills of diverse learners. Moreover, learning can be impeded whenever instructors come from one culture and the students from another.

By combining work-based learning with cultural traditions, Jobs to Careers projects in Alaska, Arizona, and Hawaii were able to maximize workers’ participation and help them advance their careers.