By: G. David Sload, ABC Keystone President-CEO

Whether it be at the State level or the Federal level, legislators are using the word “Apprenticeship” to help define the solution to the workforce crisis. Everyone is jumping on board. School districts and post-secondary educational institutions are trying to figure out how they can offer Apprenticeship or Pre-Apprenticeship programs.

It’s amazing how suddenly everyone wants to invent the apprenticeship wheel. This is great for ABC and the programs we offer. ABC has been providing registered apprenticeship training since 1968, and pre-apprenticeship programs with Career and Technology Centers since 1999. Therefore, ABC should be poised to provide services for the construction industry.

We are at the time of year when we are taking applications for apprenticeship classes that begin in September of 2018. We again will be offering programs in Carpentry, Construction Craft Laborer, Electrical, HVAC, Heavy Equipment Operator, Plumbing and Sheet Metal. Training your workforce is not only a way to improve your bottom line, but also a wonderful way to help retain your current workforce.

The workforce shortage is not going to improve quickly, but ABC is here to help. We will be expanding our partnerships with more secondary and post-secondary school programs to try and give young people a jumpstart into the industry. Should you hire a person from a CTC, a post-secondary trade school or a community college, check with ABC to see what credit may be able to be offered for their previous studies that they can apply to their apprenticeship training at ABC.

ABC will continue to be part of the solution for the workforce shortage crisis. We need you, the members, to hire the young people that come out of these CTC’s and give them the opportunity to learn and train in a craft that has made your companies successful. Without trained craft professionals, no work can be completed in a quality fashion and on time. While some may say “why should I train employees just to have them leave,” ask yourself, would you rather have trained employees that may leave or untrained employees that stay?

I challenge you to get caught up in this buzz word “Apprenticeship” and help solve the workforce development crisis.

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