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Tooling U-SME Blog

As the former Director of Business Engagement at MACNY The Manufacturers Association, Bruce Hamm created and developed a Central New York-based registered apprenticeship program in advanced manufacturing and acted as business intermediary with the companies and the NY Department of Labor. A partner with Tooling U-SME, he shares his insights about the current state of apprenticeships in America.
Manufacturing is one of the greatest and most progressive industries in society, playing an integral role in creating productivity, stimulating research and development, and spurring economic growth. Since the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing processes have changed dramatically, and today we are in the midst of a renaissance that promises to help the sector remain the lifeblood of many economies. With advancements in areas such as Industry 4.0, the sky is the limit for the industry we value so much.
Today, we welcome Randal Watson, Instructor, Northeastern Technical College in South Carolina, one of the technical colleges that partners with Tooling U-SME to train the technology experts of the future.
A recent IndustryWeek article reported the demand for skilled professionals is at a 10-year high. The manufacturing industry — likely your company too — is actively looking for ways to recruit and retain for open positions, from machinist to welder.

We are inspired by Pella Corporation’s story and approach to this challenge. Based in Pella, Iowa, the company has been creating innovative and high-quality windows and doors for more the 90 years.
Today is our last National Apprenticeship Week post but our efforts to build and sustain successful apprenticeship programs continue 365.

Fortunately, an experienced network of experts supports these ongoing efforts. The “team” includes manufacturers, educators, individuals, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), unions, workforce agencies, and community-based organizations.
The beauty of apprenticeships is that employees get paid while training for skilled positions that will launch them on a promising and lucrative career path. Instead of racking up debt like many students pursuing two-year and four-year college degrees, apprentices earn money while they learn. As we all know, a debt-free education is a huge asset.

Another bonus is that in a Registered Apprenticeship program, certified by the Department of Labor, apprentices receive steady wage increases with proficiency so they are regularly rewarded for their hard work and advancement. Some companies also offer bonuses and other perks along the way.

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