BATON ROUGE – This week, Governor John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation declaring November 11-17, 2019, as Registered Apprenticeship Appreciation and Awareness Week in the State of Louisiana. Dating back to the Middle Ages and widely used throughout Europe, apprenticeship programs are among of the oldest and most successful pathways to economic prosperity. By preparing the American workforce for current and future jobs, apprenticeships equip job-seekers with the educational tools and hands-on-training necessary to secure employment.
Established by the U.S. Department of Labor, National Apprenticeship Week brings together labor leaders, businesses, educational institutions and training professionals to highlight the impact apprenticeship programs have on meeting employment demands. Apprenticeship programs are not just for the craft occupations; businesses and industries across all sectors are embracing the “earn while you learn” apprenticeship model to train and prepare their future labor force. The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) applied for and received an expansion grant which allowed the state to launch new programs in IT (Apprenti) and healthcare. On average, apprentices earn salaries over 60k annually upon completion. Employers welcome a highly skilled employee. Employees receive above average wages and avoid student loan debt; it’s a win-win for both the employer and job seeker.
Since 2016, the State has added nearly 500 additional active apprentices increasing from 3,500 people to nearly 4,000. Once such individual is Joshua Brooks, now a licensed electrician earning a six-figure salary. He began his apprenticeship training upon graduation from Caldwell Parish High School. Similarly, Charles Oetgen of West Monroe, a member of IBEW #446, credits his apprenticeship training as the reason for the lifestyle he and his family currently enjoy.
“Apprenticeships are one of the most effective ways to support the employment spectrum and ensure a sustainable and highly skilled workforce,” says LWC Secretary Ava Dejoie. “They afford job seekers with a living wage, on-the-job training, and opportunities for career advancement. Employers also benefit from this model as they are supplied with well-trained workers who are uniquely qualified to meet their labor needs. Louisiana must continue to invest in apprenticeship development to generate opportunity and economic growth.”
The following links contain Governor John Bel Edwards’ proclamation, as well as the times and locations of the National Apprenticeship week events hosted by the LWC:
About the Louisiana Workforce Commission
The Louisiana Workforce Commission is an agency of state government that administers programs designed to enhance workforce growth and provide family-sustaining jobs for Louisiana residents. The commission monitors employment, administers unemployment compensation and tax funds, provides training resources for employers and employees and oversees worker compensation benefits. The agency also gathers and supplies information on the labor market and occupational sectors in Louisiana.
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