March 30, 2018

Appremticeships growing across US

Governing -A growing number of states are turning to apprenticeships like the one Lake took part in as a potential solution to their labor shortages, especially in rural areas where it can be hard to attract new workers. Of course, apprenticeships have existed in certain trades for millennia. But today there’s a new interest in strengthening and expanding these kinds of programs. American businesses employed 358,000 apprentices in 2011; last year, that number increased to 505,000. And states are adding apprenticeship programs to a slew of new jobs -- not just in manufacturing and construction, but also in nontraditional fields such as banking, cybersecurity, accounting, health care and even some niche jobs. Montana workforce officials, for instance, recently helped a small-town butcher train a replacement so he could retire without closing his business.

Here’s how apprenticeships work. Companies register the programs with either the U.S. Department of Labor or a state labor agency. Participants get paid by the employer while they receive training at work and in an educational setting, such as a college classroom or trade school. At the end of the process, the apprentice receives a job and an industry-recognized credential based on passing some kind of assessment. Either the federal government or a state agency oversees apprenticeship programs to make sure they meet national quality standards.

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