By Eileen Persike, Editor
Skilled workers are in demand in the Northwoods, especially in the carpentry field. In effort to fill those open jobs, Wisconsin Division of Workforce Development will host an information session Thursday, May 21 at 5 p.m. at the Northern Advantage Job Center, 51-A North Brown Street in Rhinelander; use the back entrance.
Apprenticeship is a training tool; a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations. It combines on-the-job learning under the supervision of experienced journey workers with related classroom instruction. It is sponsored by employers, employer associations, or labor/management groups that can hire and train in a working situation.
According to Division of Workforce Development Apprentice Training Representative Benjamin Stahlecker, there are nine to eleven carpentry businesses in need of skilled workers immediately.
“Apprenticeships allow the employers to hire workers in a structured training environment, teach them the company’s work process, and the state pays for their related schooling,” Stahlecker said. “It’s a good program for people interested in learning a hands-on trade.”
The apprentice enters into a written agreement with the sponsor, which is registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, Department of Workforce Development.
There are three types of apprenticeships to explore (from dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship):
*Construction trades: Approximately half of the active apprentices in Wisconsin work in the construction trades.This includes the people who build, repair and remodel homes, commercial and industrial buildings, bridges, highways, airports and other structures.
*Industrial/manufacturing: Workers in manufacturing and industrial trades make almost all of the products that we use. Paper goods, automobiles, farm machinery, and electrical equipment, for example. Good for a mechanically minded, hands-on-person who likes problem solving, designing and building things, accepting responsibility, teamwork, math and industrial science.
*Service trades: Employment in the service sector generally involves attending to the needs or requests of people. Service trade apprenticeships include utility workers (electric line worker), personal service workers (barber/cosmetologist and cook/chef) and public safety trades (firefighter and police officer).
The program Thursday will inform interested individuals how to apply and get into an apprenticeship. However, Stahlecker said he hopes that attendees will have an idea of which field they want to work in, or what they would like to do.
Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to develop this type of training program, which started in 1911. Stahlecker says it’s because of the Apprenticeship that the state’s tech schools were created.
For more information on the apprenticeship opportunities and associated careers, go to dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship/default.htm.