Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Employers: consider apprenticeship to help build your skilled workforce


November 15, 2019

It’s National Apprenticeship Week, a great time to raise awareness about the many benefits of apprenticeships to employers and workers.

The Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) is a partnership between DEED and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) and is funded through a $5 million grant through the U.S. Department of Labor and continues through September 2020.

MAI offers grants to assist Minnesota employers with costs associated with developing apprenticeship programs. Employers can receive up to $5,000 for each apprentice to help cover costs including apprenticeship-related supplies and materials, related training instruction and infrastructure. Employers can find out more about applying for a grant at

The goal of MAI is to help more than 100 Minnesota employers develop apprenticeship programs to recruit, train and retain 1,000 new apprentices in nontraditional, high-growth occupations in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, information technology, and transportation.

MAI focuses on underrepresented populations including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Workers earn a nationally-recognized credential, better pay, and are provided the opportunity to advance in their careers.

MAI is on track to register 1,000 new apprentices in over 30 high-growth occupations in Minnesota through September 2020. Ninety-three employers have already engaged with DEED and DLI, developing standards for their apprenticeship programs and providing grant assistance to over 862 apprentices.

Apprenticeship Success Stories

Larry Sommer is an apprentice pipefitter with Northern Mechanical and Iron Range Plumbers and Pipefitters JATC. He spent 22 years in the U.S. Marines and served two combat tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. He started his apprenticeship through the Veterans in Piping program. Sommer said he has benefited by having a steady-paying job and benefits to support his family as well as excellent training in the piping industry. His goal is to become a journeyworker pipefitter and welder and eventually be an instructor in the apprenticeship program.

You can see more apprenticeship success stories here.

And if you have an apprenticeship success story, please share them on social! #NAW2019

– Commissioner Steve Grove


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