Apprenticeships provide skilled workers in declining Montana labor force?
MISSOULA, Mont. - State industry and labor leaders pushed the importance of apprenticeships Monday at the Missoula College river campus.
It's Montana Apprenticeship Week, and state officials say it's a way address the anticipated workforce shortage in Montana.
Montana Department of Labor and Industry officials report that over 100,000 Montana workers will be leaving the workplace in the next decade. That's why the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program will help develop skilled workers ready to join the labor force.
The program also offers students an opportunity for meaningful workplace experience and a source of income.
"We need workers, and we need skilled workers. And this is such a unique program, and the partnerships between higher education and the Department of Labor and Industry is one of a kind. And Montana is leading the way in terms of getting more skilled workers into the workforce," said Galen Hollenbaugh, the commissioner of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
The Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program enrolled more than 7,000 apprentices across Montana. Since 2013 the program has increased enrollment by nearly 50 percent.