The Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County has received $255,000 in federal and state funding to begin a new manufacturing apprenticeship pilot program. It is the first American Job Center in the state to be certified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a registered apprenticeship program sponsor.
“Apprenticeships have been around for centuries, but there is a new and growing awareness by businesses and job-seekers across America about this proven method of training workers and filling job openings,” said Scott J. Drachnik, executive director of the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County. “It is an honor for our Job Center to be the first in Missouri to receive program sponsor certification. We are looking forward to working with local manufacturers to help them hire and train 30 individuals who will receive occupational credentials from the U.S. Department of Labor after they successfully complete this new pilot program.”
Drachnik says there are five core components in the registered apprenticeship program:
- Training on the job
- Classroom training
- Work mentorship
- Progressive wages
- National occupational credentialing
The new St. Charles County program uses a competency-based model that allows expedited advancement based on demonstrated performance, rather than a minimum timeframe spent in training. Companies that hire eligible workers could receive reimbursement of wages for up to six months during their training period. Participating employers must agree at the outset to hire their apprentice as a full-time employee, and wages must start at $12 an hour or higher.
“Based on surveys and discussions with local manufacturers, the job classifications we initially are targeting in this new program include, but aren’t limited to, cnc machining, manual machining, production assembly, quality inspection/bonding, plastics production, welding and warehouse/shipping and receiving,” Drachnik said.
Job-seekers who are interested in pursuing a new career and credentialed training in manufacturing, or employers who would like to participate in this new registered apprenticeship program, should contact Vicki Swartzenberg at (636) 255-6060, ext. 5250, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County at 212 Turner Boulevard in St. Peters or online at www.sccmo.org/apprenticeship.