Idaho Labor Helps Premier Technology Launch Registered Apprenticeship Program

News Release

For Immediate Release: Feb. 12, 2019
Information Contact: John Russ, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3303

Premier Technology in Blackfoot is the most recent company in Idaho to earn a certificate establishing its first Registered Apprenticeship program. Premier’s new apprenticeship for machinists became registered with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship for meeting national standards.

The idea took root after Premier’s Human Resources Manager Nicole Simpson attended a presentation at Idaho State University, where the Idaho Department of Labor and Idaho Career and Technical Education shared information about how to establish an apprenticeship program and its benefits. With support from Premier’s management, Simpson got in touch with John Russ, the Apprenticeship Idaho coordinator at Labor.

“It was daunting to see all this information about registered apprenticeships and figure out how to put this program together, but the Department of Labor made it very easy,” Simpson said.

Four apprentices are currently enrolled in Premier’s program, learning the skills it takes to be a machinist through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom-based continuing education through the College of Eastern Idaho. As they work through the program, the workers will earn incremental certifications and eventually gain journeyman status.

“It’s exciting to see something come out of these relationships,” said Ashleigh Sayer-Frederick, media relations coordinator for Premier, “and we’re excited about building a program that will develop technically skilled workers in the region.”

Premier is considering expanding the registered apprenticeship program into other areas, such as welding.

The Department of Labor was awarded a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship in late 2016 to expand registered apprenticeships throughout the state in such industries as advanced manufacturing.

According to the Office of Apprenticeship, employees who complete a registered apprenticeship have a higher job retention rate of up to 91 percent, and for every dollar a business invests in registered apprenticeships, they see an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity.

Premier Technology Inc., founded in 1996 in Blackfoot, is a privately owned engineering, manufacturing and construction management company with more than 300 employees.

Businesses interested in learning more about the registered apprenticeships can call John Russ at (208) 332-3570 ext. 3303.

Idaho Department of Labor staff presented a certificate of program registration in January to Premier Technology. The certificate is awarded when a program meets U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship standards of apprenticeship, designating the program as part of the ApprenticeshipUSA network.

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