The focus placed on apprenticeships by President Donald Trump at a press conference held in Wisconsin’s Waukesha County Technical College aligns with the Asset Leadership Network’s 2017 Organization and People Work Group.
The Work Group established the importance of developing strong work force development program as its 2017 goal at a webinar on April 27, 2017. Work Group Chair Robert Smith, says, “President Trump’s week long focus on apprenticeship development is part of what is needed from the Federal government to help educational institutions and private companies leverage the benefits from apprenticeships.”
The Work Group has identified two apprenticeship programs that are already in place and is promoting the expansion of their use. One apprenticeship program, called ICATT, was established by the German American Chambers of Commerce to assist German companies with factories in the United States to obtain the quality workers they need. The apprenticeship program has been in place for years, has served scores of companies and hundreds of apprenticeships. More information is available at: http://www.thinkicatt.com/
The Work Group also called out the P-TECH apprenticeship program that is supported by IBM and other companies. P-TECH operates in six states with 60 schools assisting 250 companies. The P-TECH program provides high school students the opportunity to train at a company and earn community college credits for an associate degree. The program relies on financial support from the Federal government provided through the Perkins Career and Education Act passed in 2006. Federal funding for training is not being expanded in the current Federal budget.
Smith is the Asset Management and Reliability Discipline Lead for Commissioning Agents, Inc., which already supports apprentice programs and is leveraging the Asset Leadership Network to bring more attention to existing programs. “It is the best way for companies to develop the people they need in the increasingly labor-constrained economy,” Smith says. “Local companies can work with high schools and community colleges to align student course choices with industry demand.”
Commissioning Agents, a member of the Asset Leadership Network, is already actively supporting apprenticeship programs. Dan Miller, Commission in Agents’ Maintenance & Reliability Business Area Lead, is also on the Board of Governors for Central Arizona College. “The community college has been very successful in building workforce development programs that ready their students for very impactful positions throughout Arizona and the southwest U.S.,” says Miller. “Every one of the graduates from the welding, diesel engine and heavy equipment operator pathways are hired immediately after receiving their certificates. The success of these initiatives are the result of strong partnerships with businesses in the community who sit on curriculum advisory committees and work with highly experienced instructors and professors to ensure the students are ready to contribute from their first day on the job.”
Central Arizona College developed an Advanced Technology degree program, selected by Lucid Motors as a prerequisite for their production employees in their new facility as it comes on line in 2018. The College continues to pursue apprenticeship programs throughout Arizona and readily shares their efforts with the community colleges interested in developing similar programs.
Smith says, “We are taking what was done at Central Arizona College and bringing to other local community colleges to help jump start apprentice programs. The president’s announcement helps build momentum for what we are already doing with the Asset Leadership Network Organization and People Work Group.”
For more information, contact Michael Bordenaro, ALN Communication Director, mbordenaro@AssetLeadership.net.