Registered apprenticeships gain momentum as a key pathway to skilled workforce

National Apprenticeship Week celebrates “Superhighway to Good Jobs”

MASON CITY | Students getting paid to get their homework done?  That sounds like a pretty sweet deal!  Registered apprenticeships offer motivated students the opportunity better their lives. In return, employers get dedicated, experienced, highly-trained individuals to meet their staffing needs.

“Registered apprenticeships are one of the most important tools we have to grow our talent pipeline,” said Colleen Frein, President and CEO, Mason City Chamber of Commerce at the North Iowa Commerce Center on Thursday.

Area employers met to discuss experiences with Registered Apprenticeship and how it enhances job quality, elevates access to well-paying positions, and addresses workforce shortages in key sectors at the event which was held in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week.

NIACC offers apprenticeship opportunities in several areas including Heating and Air Conditioner Installation and Service, Industrial Maintenance, Welding, Carpentry, Phlebotomy and Accounting according to Melinda McGregor, Director of Emerging Workforce Solutions at NIACC. 

NIACC is currently partnering with nine area employers and has 14 apprentices.

Each program varies in length from one year to four years as outlined by the Department of Labor.

Employers heard real-life experiences from three apprentices who are currently participating in these programs. 

“The support we have from NIACC and our employers makes it difficult to fail.”

— Jeston Umstead, NIACC/Smithfield Student Apprentice

NIACC is committed to expanding opportunities in both credit and non-credit learning.

“The graduation rate for career/technical programs at our college is 98%,” said NIACC President Dr. Steven Schulz, “When people come to NIACC and they know what they want to do —they graduate.”

Apprenticeships offer hands-on learning. Students who begin the program will know the career they are pursuing before they begin.

“Our job to help people find their way, save money, get to the workforce quickly and have them build a middle-class lifestyle,” added Schulz.

For questions and/or to be connected with a NIACC team member that can assist with one of the above Employer Services, contact the Director of Emerging Workforce Solutions.

Registered apprenticeships gain momentum as a key pathway to skilled workforce
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