National Apprenticeship Week Shines Spotlight on Training Programs

HELENA, MT-Labor & Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy and apprenticeship business sponsors from throughout the state gathered today to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week at Collision Pro, a local Helena auto body company. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry is using National Apprenticeship Week to focus on the importance of these training programs which are teaching workers the skills needed to succeed in their professions.

Apprenticeship training programs provide full-time on-the-job training for Montanans in a wide variety of occupations. These training programs promote quality training of hard and soft employment skills alongside a journeymen/mentor, with related, technical instructions in a classroom or online setting. Upon completion, apprentices receive an industry recognized certificate or credential.

“Montana enjoys an economy that is strong and among the best in the nation,” Governor Steve Bullock stated in his letter of support for National Apprenticeship Week. “One of the keys to building upon this economic strength is ensuring that businesses have a workforce with the knowledge, skills, and experience to fill the careers that are in high demand through on-the-job apprenticeship training programs.”

“Apprenticeships are a model that has been effective for centuries and are critical for businesses of all sizes to train their employees,” said Bucy. “The Department of Labor & Industry is excited to commemorate National Apprenticeship Week, so we can keep talking with Montanans about how they can learn the hard and soft skills their occupations demand, while earning a paycheck at the same time through the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program.”

Businesses throughout Montana have also been reaping the benefits of apprenticeship training for years and today’s event was an opportunity for them to share their success stories.

“My business can only prosper and grow if our employees have the training needed to do their jobs the right way, every time,” said Barry Redick, owner of Collision Pro. “By having an in-house apprenticeship program, I’ve been able to ensure we’re providing our customers with the service they depend on by trained professionals. From the day they start work, we are not only teaching them the nuts and bolts skills they need, but also our business culture.”

Apprenticeships don’t only extend to businesses, and the training programs being developed in collaboration with the Montana University System and the Department of Labor & Industry are paying dividends for post-secondary students.

One example of these apprenticeship training collaborations was highlighted by Lorren Schlotfeldt, Assistant Professor of Plumbing Technology and Coordinator of Plumbing and Apprenticeship Training, at Montana State University-Northern.

“Apprenticeship is alive and well here in Montana because business owners, the Department of Labor & Industry, and the Montana University System recognize the importance of a well-educated, motivated, and highly skilled workforce,” said Schlotfeldt. “As our economy continues to grow, demand will become even greater to fill jobs, apprenticeships can and will fill those positions with qualified technicians that can get the work done.”

To learn more about the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program, please visit apprenticeship.mt.gov.

About National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for the Apprenticeship community to tell the story of apprenticeships and is an invitation to business and industry, education, career seekers, community based organizations, students, and workers to learn about the real world advantages of developing careers through adoption of the apprenticeship model. Apprenticeship is for those who aspire to be great, lead in innovation and creativity, strive to innovate in business and industry, and recognize the value of combining paid on the job learning coupled with a substantial educational component to build generational greatness in careers and commerce.

###