Governor Steve Bullock today recognized National Apprenticeship Week by highlighting the growth and success of the state’s apprenticeship program, which has been instrumental in meeting the state’s workforce needs by training apprentices for in-demand jobs.
“Apprenticeships continue to provide Montanans with additional opportunities to train for in-demand jobs and earn a paycheck, while businesses are able to grow their talent pipeline,” Governor Bullock said. “With over 1,000 different occupations suitable for apprenticeships, employers have a unique opportunity to find highly qualified workers and customize the training to meet their business needs.”
The Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program pairs apprentices with union and non-union business sponsors in a structured training program to obtain an industry-recognized credential. Employees earn a paycheck while they complete the program and businesses can specialize the training apprentices receive to meet their distinctive needs.
In honor of National Apprenticeship Week, celebrated Nov. 11 through Nov. 15, Governor Bullock celebrated the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program’s success in supplying skilled workers to combat the state’s workforce shortage. Highlight’s include:
- 2,053 Montanans are currently enrolled in an apprenticeship.
- In 2018, 857 people enrolled in an apprenticeship, compared to 424 new apprentices in 2013.
- The program added apprenticeships in eight new occupations in 2019, including x-ray technicians, community health workers and EMTs, saw filers, kiln operators, and construction drywall installers.
- In 2019, women make up 17 percent of total apprentices, compared to 3% in 2013. This year, 22% of new apprentices are women.
- In 2019, 196 apprentices are veterans, compared to eight in 2016.
- Nearly 90% of apprentices work in Montana after graduating.
- Apprentices earn an average annual wage of $63,000, or $20,000 higher than the statewide average.
- Over 600 Montana businesses sponsored apprentices in 2018, and 235 employers qualified for the apprenticeship tax credit signed by Governor Bullock.
“Through successful programs like Montana Registered Apprenticeship, the Department of Labor & Industry will continue to lead when addressing the worker shortage and other economic issues in Montana,” Department of Labor & Industry Commissioner Galen Hollenbaugh said. “Montana Registered Apprenticeship brings businesses and workers together as partners to ensure our continued economic success.”
As the unemployment rate remains low and tight labor markets continue across Montana, apprenticeship offers a way for Montanans to join the labor market while learning the skills employers need to grow their operations. The number of sponsors continues to grow as Montana businesses respond to the increasing demand for workers. Sponsorship has grown by approximately nine percent each year over the last three years.
The Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program recognizes apprenticeships in over 100 occupations. While traditional trades continue to be popular, the program has developed a curriculum for occupations in healthcare, manufacturing, finance, and information technology to quickly supply workers to in-demand fields.
Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney and the Montana Department of Labor & Industry will host an awards ceremony Helena on November 13 and an apprentice signing event in Bozeman on Nov. 14 to recognize exceptional apprenticeship sponsors.
About Montana Registered Apprenticeship
Montana Registered Apprenticeship, a Department of Labor & Industry program, partners with union and non-union employers to establish registered apprenticeship programs in our state. A registered apprenticeship program provides the on-the-job and classroom training required to meet the national requirements for an industry-recognized Montana Registered Apprenticeship certificate through a curriculum customized to meet the needs of the employer. Once an apprentice completes a registered apprenticeship program, he or she obtains an industry-recognized credential indicating to employers in all fifty states that they are qualified and trained.