Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project: Smarter Employers. Better Employees.
By Cheryl Olson, Project Director, Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project
More than 75 years ago, the apprenticeship system began in construction and other skilled trades. Today there are apprenticeships in more than 1,000 occupations, including careers in healthcare, IT, energy, advanced manufacturing and more. Northern Nevada is experiencing new economic growth in competitive and fast-paced industries. Quickly training and placing skilled, proficient workers is crucial for Nevada to maintain its competitive edge in the manufacturing and technical trades industries. To address these emerging labor market trends, apprenticeships are experiencing a resurgence throughout the country – and particularly right here in northern Nevada as the earn-and-learn model of employment is ideal for the worker and especially for the employer.
In September 2015, the Northern Nevada College Apprenticeship Consortium was awarded a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop technical career skills for 300 northern Nevadans over the next five years. Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada College have joined together to form Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project – a resource to establish partnerships with local advanced manufacturing facilities to support the launch and sustainability of an apprenticeship program.
As an employer, there are many reasons to consider an apprenticeship program for your facility.
According to the Department of Labor, companies that offer apprenticeship programs can:
– improve productivity and profitability
– reduce turnover
– diversify their workforce
– standardize training
– and receive tax credit
In November of last year, Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project welcomed its first two employer partners – Click Bond and Alsco. Both have already launched apprenticeships in their northern Nevada industrial and manufacturing facilities.
Employers, you can work with Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project in a variety of ways. Nevada’s Apprentice Project can help you develop an individualized apprenticeship program unique for your organization or can coordinate with a group of employers to develop and sponsor an apprenticeship program for an occupation. If your organization has an apprenticeship program in another state, they can help you expand the program to Nevada, too.
Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project also can also help your organization with funding the apprenticeship program and related training. Programs will be fast-tracked through a federal approval process, you can earn up to $750 per apprentice, and you have opportunities for collaboration and partnership, as well as expanded access to resources.
For the apprentice student, this path offers a training model that combines on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction using the highest industry standards. Apprentices earn competitive wages and enjoy incremental pay increases as they become more proficient.
For information on how your organization can launch an apprenticeship program, please visit nvapprenticeship.org or call me, Cheryl Olson, project director, at 775-856-5304.