Tag Archives: apprentice

OPINION: Apprenticeships help solve Idaho’s labor challenges

Friday November 12, 2021

By Governor Brad Little

The “Now Hiring” and “Help Wanted” job postings are everywhere.

Idaho’s economy is booming, and jobs are readily available, but some employers still cannot fill jobs with the skilled workers they need.

The labor market challenges are multifaceted, but employers across the state have one thing in common – they need a pipeline of workers with industry-specific training and hands-on experience.

The good news is that through apprenticeships – a proven career pathway Idaho is strongly pursuing to build our pool of skilled workers – employers can create a sustainable talent pipeline with employees that receive extensive education and training in one of more than 1,200 occupations in Idaho.

Next week is National Apprenticeship Week. Apprenticeships offer a win-win for employees and employers.

Employees get on-the-job training and classroom instruction specifically designed for the career they choose, along with opportunities to advance. Apprentices learn while they earn a certification, gain practical experience, start working immediately, and receive built-in mentoring and support.

Employers get an immediate employee more likely to stay in the job, reducing turnover costs and improving employee retention and productivity. It is an excellent return on investment.

Idaho jumped on new resources that connect employers to apprentices.

One new program will align apprenticeship with degree programs at Idaho’s postsecondary and workforce training institutions, benefitting up to 2,000 new workers.

Another new program will connect employers with 400 Idaho youth between ages 16 and 24 in high school and career technical education programs.

Through another effort, we are expanding the number of employers enrolling in registered apprenticeships throughout the state in the health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and energy sectors.

We have nearly tripled the number of Idaho businesses sponsoring apprenticeships in the span of three years. Hundreds of Idaho employers have almost doubled the number of apprenticeship opportunities since just last year.

In short, all our efforts have created a pool of Idahoans who want to hone their skills to meet Idaho employers’ needs.

It’s a tight labor market right now. We will continue to do all we can to get more skilled workers into the satisfying, rewarding careers and help employers who, like all of us, want to see Idaho’s economic trajectory continue to strengthen.

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Business, Government and Education Work to Increase Idaho Apprenticeships

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Nov. 9, 2020
Media Contact: Gina Robison, Gina@Robison@labor.idaho.gov

Nov. 8-14 – National Apprenticeship Week

A team of state agencies is using more than $5.8 million in federal grants to foster growth and expansion of registered apprenticeships as a solution for Idaho businesses struggling to find a skilled workforce.

State agencies involved in the partnership include the Idaho Department of Labor (ApprenticeshipIdaho), the Idaho Workforce Development Council and the Idaho Division of Career Technical Education. Idaho employers are represented by the Idaho Business Education Council.

Registered apprenticeships provide a high-quality career path that allows employers to develop a skilled workforce customized to meet their needs.

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Innovative Program in North-Central Idaho Prepares Students for Local Manufacturing Jobs

students working on band saw

Ty Johannesen, left, and Jaiden Caviness (both from Lewiston), work together on a project using a band-saw. The two students attended training at Lewis and Clark State College over the summer.

Nezperce High School senior Joe McGuigan is one of a handful of high school students who landed a summer job with a manufacturing company after participating in an industry-based apprenticeship program. He worked for Hillco Technologies last summer, starting at $11 an hour as a summer intern, and he learned a wide variety of skill sets on the job, including driving a forklift and running machines.

There are more than 100 companies engaged in metal fabrication and manufacturing in north central Idaho – machine shops, guns and ammunition, farm equipment manufacturers and more. The workforce serving those companies is aging and nearing retirement age, and there’s a shortage of entry-level workers with the skills necessary to serve the industry.

“Manufacturing has picked up in the small communities in north central Idaho, including in Lewiston and Grangeville, and it’s tough hiring people to work in manufacturing in this area,” said Lenny Hill, McGuigan’s boss and president of Hillco Technologies.

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Idaho Apprenticeships Help Meet the Demand for Health Care Workers

Creating career pathways helps the medical industry and the state meet local workforce needs
nurse and two students at table

A Saint Alphonsus nurse explains the proper use of gloves, to Linda Akike, and another student. (Photo courtesy of College of Western Idaho)

Linda Akike came to Boise from the Republic of Congo. She always dreamed of being a nurse, so when she heard she could enroll in a program that may lead to a full-time job at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, she leaped at the chance.

Akike learned about a new pre-apprenticeship program offered by the Idaho Department of Labor and the College of Western Idaho (CWI) through the International Rescue Committee in Boise.  The CWI class offers 80 hours of instruction and training to prepare job seekers for an Environmental Services position in health care, and potentially a full-on career in the future.

The class trains people for environmental service work in a hospital and helps people like Akike, for whom English is a second language, learn English-speaking skills and health care vocabulary terms she’ll need to know.

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CodeWorks Program Prepares Students for Real-World Jobs

Photo courtesy CodeWorks

Just about everyone knows computer code runs the backend of computer systems, web sites, mobile apps and more.

When Ramsey Bland decided to apply for a 13-week immersion class at Boise CodeWorks, the only computer code he knew was the bar code on the side of a pizza box.

Bland, 23, had studied mechanical engineering at Boise State University for several years, but he couldn’t keep up with the cost of going to college full time. His job delivering pizza covered the rent, living expenses and college. It was a stretch.

When he applied for the CodeWorks immersion class, a super-intensive drill where he could learn how to write four computer languages in a little more than three months, he learned how to plan projects and solve complex problems as part of a team.

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Job Seekers Invited to Employment and Apprenticeship Fair in McCall

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 6, 2019
Information Contact: Julie Heidemann (208) 634-7102, ext. 3090

The Idaho Department of Labor’s McCall local office is holding a Spring Employment and Apprenticeship Fair from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in the Idaho First Bank Community Room, 475 Deinhard Lane.

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Rural Idaho Seeks Apprentices for Maintaining Sewer, Water Systems

Safe, plentiful and affordable drinking water, environmentally sound wastewater treatment, and the people who maintain the systems – are some of Idaho’s most precious resources and something many people take for granted.

“We are encouraging our 120 members to plan for the future,” explained Kelsie Cole, apprenticeship coordinator for the Idaho Rural Water Association. “More than half the professionals who oversee or operate Idaho’s drinking water and wastewater facilities are within 10 years or less of retirement. One-third are more than 55 years old. Another 30 percent are over age 45.”

Cole’s job is to meet the demand for future operators by pairing quality job candidates with a new statewide apprenticeship program involving 120 Idaho cities and communities that operate drinking water and wastewater systems throughout the state.

The Association is using a $30,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to recruit job candidates interested in a career managing Idaho’s drinking water or wastewater systems. What they need is more Idaho cities and communities willing to step up and offer the on-the-job training component of the apprenticeship program.

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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.

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Idaho Apprenticeships Increase 67 percent from 2016-18

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Nov. 2, 2018
Information Contact: John Russ, (208) 332-3570 ext. 3303 or Georgia Smith, (208) 332-3570 ext. 2102

Idaho Celebrates Apprenticeship Week Nov. 12-18

Idaho apprenticeship programs and apprentices are on the rise across Idaho and the nation. As the number of Idaho businesses sponsoring apprenticeships more than doubled from 2016 to 2018, the number of registered apprentices increased 67 percent.

Idaho Department of Labor Director Melinda Smyser attributes the increase to more Idaho training centers, technical schools, community colleges and institutions delivering industry-specific instruction, technical education and other certified training through Registered Apprenticeships in a variety of ways.

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Pre-apprenticeship Program Offers Opportunity for Refugees, Fills Workforce Gap for Saint Alphonsus

After a year of planning, a new program at Saint Alphonsus that prepares individuals for an environmental services technician (EVS) apprenticeship kicked off in September.

The free EVS Pre-apprenticeship Program at Saint Alphonsus in Boise and Nampa started as a conversation in August 2017 involving Saint Alphonsus, the Idaho Hospital Association and the Idaho Department of Labor.

The hospital was having difficulty filling EVS technician positions. These techs provide a vital function, ensuring hospitals are safe, clean and infection-free. Among other duties, they are trained to safely collect, store and dispose of hazardous materials.

Labor workforce consultant Ofelia Morales and representatives of the College of Western Idaho (CWI) Workforce Development and the Boise office of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), met with Saint Alphonsus’ EVS program staff to discuss the issue.

“Each of the partners has pieces to share,” Morales said. The Department of Labor helps with the cost of the apprenticeship for qualifying individuals through the federal Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act program. “IRC has case managers, CWI offers the class and Saint Alphonsus offers the jobs,” Morales said. The first pre-apprenticeship class has been funded and managed through the ESL Pathways Program at CWI.

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