Idaho students will be able to take the updated 8th Grade Career Explorations course containing a brand-new apprenticeship lesson starting this spring.
The Idaho Digital Learning Alliance and the Idaho Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Idaho team have created a new online lesson to meet the needs of the state’s students, businesses and industry sectors. The new class is the first collaboration of its kind between government, businesses and educators in promoting the occupational success of Idaho’s youth.
Mariah Aripa holds her dental assisting apprenticeship completion certificate. Photo courtesy of ICHCA.
Idaho’s labor market has been tight since the pandemic, particularly for specialized industries like health care.
Health clinics already face a heavy administrative burden and managing and paying for training is a big obstacle that gets in the way of staffing and talent recruitment. The Idaho Community Health Centers Association is trying to solve this problem through apprenticeship training and funding coordination. Continue reading →
By Jani Revier, director of Idaho Department of Labor
Nov. 14-20 is National Apprenticeship Week and marks the celebration of a proven and time-honored career pathway. Right now, 236 Idaho businesses sponsor apprenticeships, with more than 1,800 participating Idahoans getting paid on the job.
Like many Americans, Idahoans have seen sharp increases in housing costs while the consumer price index has risen 8.2% in just one year. Facing these circumstances, Idaho’s workforce needs competitive job opportunities now more than ever, and the state’s employers need the labor. Continue reading →
Job seekers are invited to kick off the fall hiring season during a career fair scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Canyon County Department of Labor office parking lot, 4514 Thomas Jefferson St. in Caldwell.
The first 150 job seekers who show up will have their choice of a free hamburger or cheeseburger courtesy of CS Beef Packers, United States Bakery (Franz) and Sorrento Lactalis Inc.
Other employers attending include the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Boise State University, EquusWorks, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho Milk Transport, Simplot and many more. The employers planning to attend report having more than 500 open jobs to fill. Positions available range from bus drivers, construction workers, direct care providers, machine operators, teachers, welders and more.
Research has shown volunteers 55 and older who serve as senior companions often find they also reap significant financial and health benefits from the experience.
Idaho’s AmeriCorps Seniors Companion volunteers visit homes, help the person leave the house to go shopping, to doctor appointments and even the senior center for bingo. Volunteers also help with bills, laundry and engage in conversation over a cup of coffee.
According to a study on AmeriCorps senior programs,* benefits for individuals getting assistance include:
Spending time with others.
Living in their home.
Cost of living stays down. The median monthly cost of an assisted living facility is $4,051 compared to the mean monthly housing expenditure of $1,505. Annual cost savings reach $30,552 per person.
Improved health and decreased hospital visits. The federal government saved nearly $59 million each year on Medicare and Medicaid health care expenditures.
Twenty-four libraries across Idaho are increasing their resources to offer job seeker services to their nearby rural communities, and the Idaho Commission for Libraries hopes more will participate.
Job seekers in communities like Challis, Priest River, Kuna and New Meadows can now find help with writing resumes, earning their GED, going back to school and on-the-job training – all at their local library. Continue reading →
When Idaho Job Corps welcomed its first group of students in October 2019 at its first location in Nampa, it was a three-year national demonstration project, piloting a new approach to serving youth. Idaho Job Corps is now readily accessible to Idaho’s youth in four locations across the state.
The overall goal? Eventually Serve 750 income-eligible students, ages 16-24, by training them for the workforce.
Today, the program is thriving. Idaho Job Corps and the Idaho Department of Labor partner with the College of Western Idaho, College of Eastern Idaho, College of Southern Idaho and North Idaho College to deliver education, training and a whole host of wrap-around services to low-income students with barriers to employment.
To date, some 145 students have already moved through the program, and Idaho Job Corps is serving 195 students throughout the system – 43 of those enrolled just this year. Continue reading →
Billie Jo Spencer, a filer bencher apprentice at the Moyie Springs sawmill near Bonners Ferry for Idaho Forest Group (IFG), has been moving up the pay scale by increasing her job skills through IFG and Idaho Department of Labor apprenticeship programs.
Billie Jo Spencer
The Moyie Springs mill produces about 200 million board feet of dimension lumber products per year. It requires a skilled work force to keep the mill running smoothly and efficiently, IFG officials say.
Spencer started working for IFG 12 years ago, driving a fork lift. She completed the Filer-Fitter apprenticeship a couple years ago, and she’s working on her second apprenticeship as a saw filer.
“I’m always learning something,” she says. “I’m putting teeth in the saws and welding the shoulders.”
There are three levels of being a filer bencher, Spencer says. She’s on level one right now, and hopes to continue to move up to the higher levels. IFG mills are highly automated for efficiency. At the Moyie mill, raw logs are rough-cut by special machinery as they enter the mill on a conveyer belt. Farther down the line, the large blocks of wood are sawed into stud lumber in 8- and 9-foot- long sections. Continue reading →
Program leads to full-time jobs with livable wages
Sabastian Juarez and three classmates – Tanner Pratt, Jonathon Lizardi and Andres Gutierrez – have taken control of their futures and are ready for full-time careers with solid livable wages.
The four high school students recently completed a multi-year registered apprenticeship for machine operators that included 150 hours of early-morning classroom work and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
Sabastian Juarez at work at High Desert Milk in Burley. Photo courtesy High Desert Milk.
Juarez is now 21 years old with a full-time job at High Desert Milk in Burley, making $25 an hour as an assistant shift supervisor.
“Sabastian, he’s phenomenal,” said Tory Bailey, human resources manager at High Desert Milk and classroom instructor for the machine operator apprenticeship. “He can run anything in the plant. He’s very driven and a quick-learner.”
The Idaho Department of Labor spent five years building the machine operator apprenticeship from scratch at the request of local manufacturing companies like McCain Foods, High Desert Milk and Fabri-Kal.