Montana Governor Kicks Off Apprenticeship Week

HELENA, MT (STL.News) Governor Greg Gianforte yesterday kicked off Apprenticeship Week with apprentices and employees at Dick Anderson Construction, Inc., a statewide employer sponsor of apprenticeships with headquarters in Helena.

“Apprenticeship programs empower Montana workers, expand their lifetime earning potential, and ensure employers have a highly-skilled workforce,” said Gov. Gianforte. “Many essential, good-paying jobs requiring specialized skills are in high demand across Montana.  Ensuring interested Montanans have access to the education they need empowers Montana workers with in-demand skills, critically develops our workforce, and creates better-paying Montana jobs.”

During the stop, the governor signed a proclamation declaring the week of November 15 to November 21, 2021 to be Apprenticeship Week in Montana.

According to the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), 48-percent of the new job growth in Montana over the next 10 years is projected to be in apprenticeable occupations, equaling roughly 30,000 jobs per year.

Promoting and increasing access to apprenticeship opportunities and trades education to build a stronger Montana workforce are key pillars of the Montana Comeback Plan.

One year after graduation, apprentices earn an average of $59,000, approximately $11,700 higher than the state average.

“Montana’s registered apprenticeship program plays a vital role in offering a pathway to good-paying careers for thousands of Montana workers,” Commissioner of Labor & Industry Laurie Esau said.  “National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to build awareness about these unique programs and help educate Montanans about the benefits they provide both employees and employers.”

Over 2,600 apprentices were active in Montana in 2021 in 85 different occupations.

In a huge boost to skilled trades, Gov. Gianforte signed into law the Montana Trades Education Credit (M-TEC) providing $1 million per year in 50-percent credits to businesses for their employers to learn a trade.  M-TEC will support as many as 1,000 scholarships annually.