GREAT FALLS – Twenty-six high school students from both Great Falls High School and C.M. Russell High School today signed paperwork to join the largest-ever Pre-Apprenticeship Carpenter Program, offered as a partnership between Great Falls Public Schools and the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program.
Through the program, the pre-apprentices will participate in the annual High School Home Build, the 42nd house completed by students from the two Great Falls high schools. Students learn the skills necessary to meet industry standards in the construction industry. With 26 participants enrolled, the class represents 13% of the total 204 pre-apprentices statewide.
This program has become a pipeline to all occupational trades, not just carpentry, said Pete Pace, Industrial Tech and Carpentry Instructor for the class. It can propel a kid straight into a successful career and gives them the confidence they need to succeed in all areas of their lives. We have kids working with a variety of great businesses across the state. A lot of companies are looking to hire our top students out of graduation.
The construction field is projected to continue growing in Montana. Construction laborers are the third-highest apprenticeable occupation with the most projected job openings, with 767 total annual job openings, according to Montana DLI Employment Projections from 2018 through 2028. Carpenters are the fourth-highest, with 677 total annual openings.
For many Montana students, an apprenticeship provides the opportunity to gain the skills needed to join the career field of their choice, and in today’s case, gives students the skills they need to join and excel in Montana’s construction industry,& Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program Director Jay Reardon said. National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to highlight the many benefits Registered Apprenticeship has across Montana. Maintaining and growing Montana’s skilled workforce is critical to the continued success of our economy.
DLI’s pre-apprenticeship program is designed to prepare students to enter and succeed in a Montana Registered Apprenticeship program, and ultimately a career in their chosen field. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry is committed to implementing training programs like the Pre-Apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship programs to work to give Montanans the skills they need to join the workforce for increased economic stability.
During National Apprenticeship Week from November 11 through 15, the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program is celebrating consistent growth and success in increasing the pool of qualified workers while assisting businesses with efforts to recruit and retain during a statewide worker shortage. The highly innovative program has steadily increased apprenticeships, recruited businesses to sponsor, and adds additional occupations in in-demand fields, like healthcare.
For more information on the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program, visit http://apprenticeship.mt.gov/.