Manufactures across America will be supported by the apprenticeship program at the Robert C. Bryd Institute because of a national designation by the U.S. Department of Labor, said the project manager, Becky Calwell.
“This designation makes it easier for us to work with manufacturers in any state and with manufacturers with multiple sites in multiple states,” Calwell said.
One of the current industry partners is Weyerhaeuser, a wood products company. They partner with the program, Apprenticeship Work, on apprenticeships for industrial maintenance technicians at sites in three states, including West Virginia, she said.
“With this grant, we can serve more companies like Weyerhaeuser,” Calwell said.
According to a press release issued by the RCBI, the company is already serving manufactures in 18 states spanning the country from Washington to Maine.
Calwell said the process for approving this designation was lengthy, but it was rewarding knowing they were working towards creating more apprenticeship programs.
“Different states have different approval procedures, so the process can be time-consuming,” she said. “We applied for national standards to accelerate the process so that our partners can get their apprenticeship programs up and running more swiftly.”
Charlotte Weber, director & CEO of the RCBI, said in the press release the expansion will provide job training in crucial fields.
“We’re excited to extend the reach of Apprenticeship Works,” Weber said in the release. “Manufacturers across the country will benefit from this affordable registered apprenticeship program, which provides on-the-job training in their most critical occupations.”
The apprenticeships offered by Apprenticeship Works benefits both the employees and the company, Calwell said.
“Employees who participate in an apprenticeship program learn new skills and gain valuable industry credentials while earning a salary,” she said. “Some apprentices work toward an associate degree from a community college, further enhancing their careers.
Companies that offer registered apprenticeship programs improve productivity and profitability, standardize training, reduce turnover, receive tax credits and have other benefits, Calwell said.
“Helping companies tackle their workforce needs through apprenticeship is just one of the many ways that RCBI assists manufacturers,” she said. “In fact, RCBI at Marshall University has been assisting manufacturers for 30 years.”
Ralph May can be contacted at [email protected]