Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project announced Click Bond and Alsco as the program’s first two employer partners earlier this month.
Through the Apprenticeship Project, employers work directly with Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) and Western Nevada College (WNC) to develop apprenticeship programs specific to their companies needs. These types of partnerships will help train future northern Nevada employees in the rapidly growing sector of advanced manufacturing.
Click Bond manufactures adhesive-bonded fasteners for the aerospace, marine and automotive industries and is headquartered in Carson City. They currently employ 330 people at their Carson City facility. Click Bond’s apprentice positions include a tool maker and a maintenance mechanic. The company has had apprentice programs for the past eight-plus years at their Connecticut facility and has found it a successful method to develop their work force.
“Partnering with Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project to launch our Carson City apprenticeships was the ideal choice,” Larry Harvey, human resources director for Click Bond, said in a press release. “We were able to fast-track the approval process and we are confident that the classroom instruction that our apprentices will receive at TMCC and WNC will be of the highest quality.”
The company had been planning on developing a similar program in Nevada and by partnering with Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project they are able to implement the program faster.
“We would be doing this with out any assistance,” Harvey said in a phone interview with NNBW. “But by going through Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project we were able to set it up so much quicker.”
He explained that as the demand for more skilled work force increases, the pool of qualified employees for this type of jobs is decreasing.
“We are getting a lot more competition in the region,” Harvey said as more manufacturing employers come.
Educational programs like this helps Click Bond invest in their future.
“The better educated employees are the better work they do,” Harvey said.
Alsco also recently announced their partnership with the program.
Alsco Inc. was founded in 1889 and is recognized as one of the leaders in the linen and uniform rental industry. The company has facilities in both Reno and Carson City, which combined employ 135 people. Unlike Click Bond, this will be the first apprentice program for Alsco. Their apprentice position is for industrial maintenance mechanics whose education and training will focus on diagnosing, maintaining and repairing the HVAC, electrical and mechanical equipment.
“Launching an apprentice program was the right, next step for Alsco,” said Mark Kotsios, general manager of Alsco Inc., in a recent press release. “An apprenticeship allows us to tailor an employee’s education specifically to their hands-on daily job functions. Working with Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project was fast and easy for every step of the process.”
Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project is part of the Northern Nevada College Apprenticeship Consortium. The consortium was awarded a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2015 to develop technical career skills over the course of five years. Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project has a goal to develop 300 apprenticeships by 2020.
“With the huge job growth we are seeing in the area right now, employers are having a hard time recruiting and retaining employees,” Cheryl Olson, director of Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project, said in a phone interview with NNBW.
Apprenticeships help to diversify work force, improves productivity for employers as well as reduces turnover in a company.
Olson explained that apprenticeships typically range between one to six years in length. Click Bond and Alsco are designing their programs as four-year programs.
Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project is a combination of on-the-job training as well as technical instruction. It is a “learn and earn” model where students are paid for the work they do and the pay increases as they develop more skills.
“As they develop there skills they will have structured periods where they will get pay increases to compensate them for the increase in skills,” Olson said.
Apprenticeships help to tailor student’s skill sets to an employer’s needs.
“They learn very specifically what that employer needs and they become very successful because of all that mentoring and training that is being provided,” she said.
By partnering with Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project, employers can help streamline the time it takes to create an apprenticeship program. Olson explained that each state has their own rules to set up a program and it can sometimes take months to get the proper approval. However, because Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project is associated with the grant from the Department of Labor, approval normally only takes a couple of weeks.
“What would normally take six to eight months goes down to about a two-week period,” Olson said.
Apprenticeships also give students flexibility when they start a program. Once an employer’s program is in place TMCC and WNC can quickly matriculate students into the program.
Olson anticipates that Click Bond and Alsco will be the first of many employers to partner with the program.
“We sincerely appreciate the partners across the state who have come together to create such a high caliber program,” Karl Hutter, CEO of Click Bond, said in an email. “Click Bond is honored to be a leader in the program, and we look forward to helping ensure the program’s long term success by encouraging our colleagues in the manufacturing community to join us.”
For more information about Nevada’s Apprenticeship Project, visit www.nvapprenticeship.org and for employers who are interested in partnering with the program, contact Cheryl Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-856-5304.
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