2017 National Apprenticeship Week Highlights Apprenticeship Programs at Missoula College

MISSOULA, Mont.-Surrounded by Missoula business leaders and apprentices, Montana Department of Labor & Industry Commissioner Galen Hollenbaugh, Missoula College Dean Shannon O’Brien, gathered this morning to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week at the Missoula College River Campus.

Governor Steve Bullock has proclaimed November 12-18 as Montana Apprenticeship Week.

Building Montana’s highly skilled workforce is critical to the continued success of our economy and it’s no doubt that apprenticeships play an essential role in that effort, said Governor Bullock. We have good reason to celebrate during Montana Apprenticeship Week as we continue to bolster apprenticeship opportunities even further through tax incentives for businesses and grow occupations available statewide so folks can learn and earn a paycheck in the careers of their choice.

Administered by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program works with both union and non-union business sponsors across the state to implement tailor made training programs in almost 70 occupations.

Apprenticeships are a cornerstone to growing Montana’s economy, said Hollenbaugh. As we recognize National and Montana Apprenticeship Week the men and women of our state are using this time-honored, work-based learning model to earn a paycheck while learning the skills needed for a successful career in their occupation by working with the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program.”

Montana Registered Apprenticeship is an employer designed training program for both union and non-union employers. Training consists of not less than 2000 hours (1 year) of On-the-Job Training (OJT), and not less than 144 hours of related college level coursework per 2000 hours of OJT. Apprenticeship training teaches specific and technical job skills unique to the employer's profession.

The Accounting Technology apprenticeship program launched as a pilot program this past summer by an initial group of employers as a five-semester pilot program combining classes from Missoula College with earn-while-you-learn “on-the-job-training” employment for apprentices. Instead of going to college for two years and then entering the workforce, apprentices receive schooling while gaining valuable work experience in their chosen career field at the same time. Upon completing their training program, apprentices receive a nationally recognized industry certificate from the Department of Labor & Industry and an Associate of Science degree from Missoula College.

The Accounting Technology program is a valuable work-based learning program for Missoula College and the businesses sponsoring these apprenticeships, said O’Brien. We are excited to be able to offer this important, new apprenticeship to Montanans.”

For the Accounting Technology apprenticeship business sponsors, the program is helping to grow and expand their operations with employees trained for their industries.

The health insurance benefits industry is constantly changing, said Allegiance Human Resources Manager Krystal Plantz. “Being able to train an employee with the hard and soft skills our business demands makes apprenticeships an important component of having a highly-skilled Allegiance workforce.”

According to Chief Financial Officer of Missoula National/Alamo rental franchisee Randy White, apprenticeships are vital to strengthening their business talent pipeline.

The Accounting Technology apprenticeship partnership with Missoula College and the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program is vital for us to have people working for us who have a deep understanding of what our business does, said White. “We are excited to be one of the pilot business sponsors for this important and needed apprenticeship program.”

To learn more about the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program and National Apprenticeship Week, please visit Apprenticeship.MT.Gov or by calling (406) 444-1674.