For Immediate Release: Feb. 15, 2023
Media Contact: Gina Robison, Gina.Robison@labor.idaho.gov
Contributor: Mike Hollenbeck, American Institute for Floral Designers
Construction, technology, advanced manufacturing and a host of other industries benefit greatly from apprenticeship programs – why not include the floral industry?
Floral Artistry, a floral business in Lewiston, recently made use of a Registered Apprenticeship, a training program registered through the U.S. Department of Labor that provides paid on-the-job learning and related technical instruction.
Registered Apprenticeships are an industry-driven pathway to a successful career through which employers, schools and organizations can develop and prepare their future workforce — all with little to no debt.
Floral Artistry uses industry standards for evaluation and built their own customized on-the-job training program for floral designers in partnership with the Idaho Department of Labor Apprenticeship team.
“We set up our own standards, on-the-job training and specific goals,” said Mike Hollenback, owner and creative director of Floral Artistry and member of the American Institute for Floral Designers. “These include an introduction to the flower business and an overview of materials and supplies, flower preparation, plant care, arrangements for all occasions, customer service, wedding, party design and basically every aspect of professional floral design.”
Like all apprenticeships, training includes on-the-job work experience and classroom or online instruction. For floral design, all training is completed in 2,000 hours or approximately one year. When an apprentice completes their hours, they are prepared to apply for a Certified Floral Designer designation.
Skylar Wyman is one example. As an employee of Floral Artistry, she recently completed her 2,000 hours of training, participated in Teleflora’s design evaluation class and is working toward becoming a certified designer.
“On-the-job training works!” said Hollenbeck. “Skylar is on her way to become a fully accredited florist, one step at a time.”
Registered Apprenticeships allow businesses to train up employees from an entry level to fit their workforce needs and offer a way for individuals to learn the skills they need for a lucrative career at little to no cost.
“Without a continuous flow of apprentices becoming skilled industry professionals, quality industrial standards would be severely affected,” said Hollenbeck. This is one of many reasons he and other Idaho professionals are integrating apprenticeship into their business model.
In fact, over 450 Idaho employers are actively engaged in apprenticeship programs. This number has tripled over the last four years, and today more Idahoans are enrolled in apprenticeships than ever before.
More than 2,000 Idahoans are on the path to earn a nationally recognized industrial credential, sending them on a path toward greater success. According to Apprenticeship.gov, program graduates earn an average starting salary of $77,000 and make on average $300,000 more in their lifetime than those who don’t complete an apprenticeship.
Businesses may be eligible for financial assistance to help offset the cost of training apprentices. Funding is available for everything from on-the-job training to tuition costs through federal grants managed by state agencies.
Businesses can also train employees and broaden their talent pools for recruitment. Apprenticeship graduates are more likely to stay with the business, with 93% retaining employment according to Apprenticeship.gov.
To learn more about the Idaho Apprenticeship program, visit ApprenticeshipIdaho.gov.
The Idaho Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Idaho program is 100% funded by the USDOL as part of Employment and Training Administration grants.