Governor Gianforte Highlights State’s Record Apprenticeship Growth

More apprentices in Montana than ever before

Governor's Office
  • November 15 2023

BILLINGS, Mont. – During Apprenticeship Week in Montana, Governor Greg Gianforte today visited with apprentices and journeymen at Precision Plumbing to highlight expanding programs and the state’s record number of registered apprentices.

“Our mission is to promote and increase access to apprenticeship opportunities and trades education to empower Montana workers and ensure employers have a highly skilled workforce,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Precision Plumbing shares our mission, and I’m happy to celebrate their success and our progress with them today.”

Precision Plumbing

Gov. Gianforte visiting with Precision Plumbing apprentices and journeymen in Billings

Highlighting expanding opportunities, the governor spoke of recent reforms to boost support for employers and increase options for apprentices.

In 2022, Montana added more apprenticeships to the Registered Apprenticeship Program than ever before, many of which were added following a rule change championed by the governor that went into effect that year.

While preserving workplace safety and training standards, the rule change revised the previous journeyman to apprentice ratio of 2:1 to 1:2, allowing one journeyman to supervise two apprentices.

To boost the skills of hardworking Montanans and meet the needs of employers, the governor also proposed and established the Montana Trades Education Credit (MTEC) in 2021, providing employers a credit for employee education and training. The governor nearly doubled MTEC in 2023.

“It’s a blessing to be able to get more guys trained up in the field because there is such a lack of plumbers and construction people in general in the industry,” said Dave Biegel, Vice President of Precision Plumbing.

Dave also shared that before the ratio change, their employees would have to wait three to four years before getting an apprenticeship. Now, they only have to wait three or four months.

Since 2020, active apprenticeship enrollment in Montana has increased over 20%.

Montana’s Registered Apprenticeship Program, administered by the Department of Labor & Industry, enables workers to receive paid, supervised, on-the-job training in more than 100 different fields across Montana.

Employing over 40 apprentices and journeymen, Precision Plumbing is one of more than 600 businesses who have partnered with the program, employing more than 3,000 apprentices statewide.

“I am going on three years of my apprenticeship. Before I worked construction jobs, and I decided I needed an actual career path,” said Precision Plumbing apprentice, Jack Bobo. “This has greatly increased my earning potential, it’s one of the main reasons I wanted to get into a skilled trade.”

Montanans can learn more about Montana’s Registered Apprenticeship Program by visiting