Helena, MT – Governor Steve Bullock and Labor & Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy today joined labor leaders from across Montana in Helena to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week at the Montana Electrical JATC Training Center.
Governor Bullock proclaimed November 14-19th as Apprenticeship Week in Montana at the event and was presented a preview of the biennial apprenticeship report by Commissioner Bucy.
“Apprenticeships put more Montanans on a path towards good-paying jobs,” said Governor Bullock. “Today we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week and recognize all of the folks working to increase efforts to give hard-working men and women in Montana the chance to earn a paycheck and support a family while learning the hard and soft skills needed to have a good-paying job and grow the economy.”
The Montana Registered Apprenticeship program is administered by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. Established in 1941, Montana Registered Apprenticeship works with both union and non-union business sponsors across the state to implement tailor-made training programs in over 60 occupations.
“Apprenticeship continues to be an important tool in building Montana’s workforce,” said Commissioner Bucy. “This time-honored training model continues to provide Montana businesses with the highly-skilled workers they need to grow and expand and moving Montana’s economy forward.”
Montana AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Al Ekblad focused on the importance of apprenticeship for union members. According to Ekblad, apprenticeships are opening doors for a variety of occupations.
"Apprenticeship is the cornerstone for preparing workers to enter skilled craft and technology based employment,” said Ekblad.
Businesses find apprenticeships a valuable method for building their talent pipelines, according to Troy Brandt, owner of Helena-based Eagle Electric.
“We’ve been training apprentices for years,” said Brandt. “The ability for us to not only teach them the technical skills needed for them to earn their certificate builds on them learning the lessons they need to be a good fit with our business culture.”
Montana Registered Apprenticeship is an employer designed training program for both union and non-union employers. Training consists of not less than 2000 hours (1 year) of On-the-Job Training (OJT), and not less than 144 hours of related college level coursework per 2000 hours of OJT. This training is designed to teach specific and technical job skills unique to the employer’s profession. Formal registered apprenticeship completion can be the basis for professional licensing, or confer journeyman status in their chosen field. A Montana Registered Apprenticeship program completion certificate, like any diploma, is recognized in all 50 states.