The Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) is on track to bring 1,000 people into newly registered apprenticeship programs in 30 high-growth occupations in Minnesota in the next five years.
What is an apprenticeship? It’s a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which employees learn both the practical and theoretical aspects of an occupation.
Seventy Minnesota employers will expand and create registered apprenticeship programs in industries that typically don’t have apprenticeships, through a $5 million U.S. Department of Labor grant.
Participants – including people of color, women, veterans, people with disabilities and young adults – will receive classroom and on-the-job training. Workers will have the opportunity to gain skills, advance their careers and earn better pay.
Employers are eligible to receive up to $5,000 for each registered apprentice, covering the cost of support activities, supplies and materials, instruction costs and more.
The grants will focus on five industries that were chosen based on employer needs and data showing they will be facing labor shortages in the next 10 years: advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, information technology and transportation. The grants are designed to help employers create long-term, sustainable registered apprenticeship programs that continue beyond the life of the grant.
DEED and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry are partnering in the program, providing outreach and recruitment, assessments, adult basic education, support services, and on-the-job and industry-recognized credential training.
Owens Corning was the First
MAI’s first registered apprenticeship program was rolled out last year at Owens Corning in Minneapolis. The business makes roofing products (shingles and accessories) and insulation.
Owens Corning employee Brandon Carlsen is a maintenance mechanic apprentice. He is completing related classes at Hennepin Technical College, including courses in pneumatic components, advanced programmable logic controllers and fluid power technology.
His on-the-job training includes preventive and corrective maintenance, troubleshooting, and pipefitting and plumbing (welding, fabrication, brazing, soldering and other jointing processes). Carlsen has been in the program for nine months, and managers say he has far exceeded their expectations.
Owens Corning has used the program to recruit job candidates. The company plans to enroll 10 apprentices under the MAI grant; and when Carlsen finishes the program, he will mentor them.
More details about the program are available at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry website.