WAUSAU — The state
Department of Workforce Development is touting its apprenticeship program
that helps train 10,000 workers at more than 2,000 companies a year.
The Wausau Daily Herald
reported Thursday (http://tiny.cc/7zpdvw
) that department secretary Reggie Newson was promoting the program at
Northcentral Technical College in Wausau.
Newson said during the
Wednesday visit that it's important to raise awareness of the program
because the number of participating businesses and workers has been
declining, even as the need for skilled workers has increased.
"We really want to
get more young people and more adult workers into the apprenticeship
program because it is an opportunity to move into the middle class,"
Apprenticeship is an
employer-sponsored, work-based training program in which a student works
under the direction of a qualified journeyman. The student combines
on-the-job training with classroom instruction, typically provided by the
Wisconsin Technical College System.
Businesses that sponsor
apprentices gain employees who are trained to fit the specific needs in
their facilities and on their equipment, while apprentices gain workforce
experience, Newson said.
Once they finish
training, apprentices earn a nationally recognized credential and
typically become eligible for promotion in their respective companies, he
Apprenticeships are most
commonly available in the traditional construction, service and industrial
trades — electricians, plumbers, carpenters, cosmetologists, maintenance
mechanics and utility line workers.
Brandon Ziolkowski, 26,
has been a student in NTC's industrial electrical and instrumentation
apprenticeship program for about a year. He works as an apprentice at
NewPage's mill in Wisconsin Rapids.
"It's a great
opportunity to learn the skills before jumping into the workplace,"
The DWD's outreach effort
will include videos, postcards and display ads, billboards throughout the
state and tool kits given directly to companies the agency thinks could
benefit from the apprenticeship program.