Idaho rural nonprofits and local / state government agencies may get a hand up with the help of a three-year grant awarded to Serve Idaho from the federal AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members will be placed in rural nonprofits and local / state government agencies across Idaho for one year. These full-time VISTA members will help rural Idaho communities build capacity, explore challenges facing Idaho’s rural nonprofits and support community efforts to overcome poverty. In return for their year of service members receive a living stipend, an education award, health benefits and potential advantages for future federal jobs.
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.
Idaho businesses, educators and career counselors are encouraged to participate in Expanding Youth Apprenticeship in Idaho, a free virtual apprenticeship accelerator, June 18, 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. MT.
The web-based event will focus on how youth apprenticeship can help businesses develop a talent pipeline while providing youth with hands-on training and instruction leading to industry-recognized credentials and a career.
USDOL Registered Apprenticeships have an advantage over non-registered programs and benefit job seekers and employers as follows:
National Credential – Registered Apprenticeship graduates receive a national, industry-recognized credential that is portable and stackable.
Quality Standards – Registration means the program meets national and independent standards for quality and rigor. Registration tells prospective employees, customers and suppliers a business invests in its workforce and believes employees are its most important asset.
High Quality and Safe Working Conditions – Emphasis on program safety may reduce worker compensation costs.
Technical Assistance and Support – Businesses that register their apprenticeship programs with USDOL receive access to a nationwide network of expertise, customer service and support at no charge for program sponsors.
Tax Credits – In some states, businesses qualify for state-based tax credits related to apprenticeship programs. Employers may also be able to claim some expenses for training as a federal tax credit.
Federal Resources – Businesses and apprentices can access funding and other resources from many federal programs to help support their Registered Apprenticeship programs, including Pell Grants and the GI Bill.
Contact Bill Kober, (208) 321-2973 or (208) 703-3782 for more information.
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.