WSOS's Pre-Apprenticeship Programs Help Build Careers and Meet Employer Needs
Posted 8/29/2017 6:55 PM by Angel Harlins
H-1B Ready to Work (RTW) grantee WSOS Community Action Commission has been successfully creating new pre-apprenticeship programs by partnering with colleges and industry trade associations since the last quarter of 2016.
The first program was a Mechatronics program that teaches skills in robotics, programmable logic controls, and other necessary coursework for careers in maintenance in advanced manufacturing. Designed to address the skilled labor shortage of employers, the course includes a combination of education, internship and on-the-job training (OJT) opportunities. Participants spend eight weeks in class, then spend eight weeks in an internship with a local employer, attend eight more weeks of class and then complete eight weeks of OJT. When finished, students obtain a certificate in Mechatronics Integrated Trades. This program is a precursor for those entering either an apprenticeship program in skilled trades or for smaller employers. Two cohorts began the course during the first quarter of 2017.
The success of the program led to new relationships with additional training providers and new programs. The grantee partnered with Associated Builders and Contractors to develop an advanced industrial electrical pre-apprenticeship program with a similar format. It offers fast-track training, paid internships and industry-recognized credentials in the industrial electrical trades. Both of these courses are cohorts designed so participants start and finish together. This allows them to build teamwork skills, and offers them job security in expanding fields with an average entry level pay of $17-$20 per hour.
As both the mechatronics and electrical programs continued to receive rave reviews from participants and employers, WSOS partnered with Terra State Community College to create a new Industrial Machine Trades program. This program focuses on CNC training and teaches computer aided drafting (CAD) and other skills for careers in machining trades. All three of these fast-track skilled-trades programs were developed based on the needs of local employers. They offer industry-recognized credentials and career pathways to in-demand skilled trades careers. Additional benefits include career coaching and job placement services as well as training and internship hours that apply towards apprenticeships.
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