#489. Apprenticeship 2000Posted on
This week’s Agurban will touch on a topic that is very familiar to our loyal readers: the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers. According to a recent study by Accenture and The Manufacturing Institute that surveyed over 300 manufacturing executives, 39% said they faced a severe shortage of qualified applicants, and 60% said it was difficult to hire the skilled people they needed.
This is nothing new. Manufacturers have struggled to fill their advanced skill jobs for several years. While the skilled worker dilemma is recognized by many, some are taking steps to rectify the problem.
In Charlotte, eight advanced manufacturing firms, several high schools and Central Piedmont Community College have joined to form “Apprenticeship 2000.” Students are selected for the program in the 11th grade and work part-time at participating firms while attending high school and, later, classes at the Community College. The program lasts four years. While participating, the students are compensated for their work and their tuition is paid by their sponsoring firm. Upon graduation, they receive an associate’s degree, a journeyman’s certificate, and a guaranteed job – all without debt.
This program solves two issues: 1) the sponsoring manufacturing firms are gaining experienced, skilled workers; and 2) the students/workers are getting usable, valuable training without debt. It’s a win-win!
We would love to learn about other programs such as Apprenticeship 2000. Does your community have a program such as this that we can share with our readers? Please send information to us on how your community is addressing this issue.