Local businesses welcomed to apprenticeship program
November 23, 2016
Nevada's Apprenticeship Project announces the program's first two employer partnerships with Click Bond and Alsco.
Click Bond is a high-tech manufacturing company that develops and produces bonded fasteners for the aerospace, marine, and automotive industries. Alsco is a 127-year-old privately held company operating in the linen and uniform rental service business.
"We are thrilled to welcome Click Bond and Alsco as our first apprenticeship employer partners," said Cheryl Olson, director of Nevada's Apprenticeship Project. "Click Bond has a long and successful commitment to apprenticeships so their participation can provide a model for other businesses — large and small — to launch a program. Alsco is taking a fresh approach to addressing their labor needs by launching their first apprenticeship and we appreciate that they chose to partner with us."
Last Thursday, at a job fair hosted at Truckee Meadows Community College's (TMCC) William N. Pennington Applied Technology Center, a representative from the Department of Labor presented a certificate to Collie Hutter, cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Click Bond and Alex Carter, Vice President of Manufacturing, Click Bond, as well as to Mark Kotsios, General Manager, Alsco Inc. This formal recognition marks Nevada's Apprenticeship Project's first two official employer partners.
Through the Apprenticeship Project, companies work hand-in-hand with TMCC and Western Nevada College to develop their apprenticeship programs. Click Bond's apprentice positions include a tool maker whose skill set includes creating new tools, such as jigs, patterns, dies and fixtures for manufacturing machines, and a maintenance mechanic which requires knowledge about maintaining and repairing a variety of large-scale, computerized manufacturing equipment. Alsco's apprentice position is also an industrial maintenance mechanic whose education and training will focus on diagnosing, maintaining and repairing the HVAC, electrical and mechanical equipment.
"Launching an apprentice program was the right, next step for Alsco," said Kotsios. "An apprenticeship allows us to tailor an employee's education specifically to their hands-on daily job functions. Working with Nevada's Apprenticeship Project was fast and easy for every step of the process."
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Combined, Alsco's Reno and Carson City facilities employ 135 people. Click Bond's Connecticut plant, which employees 80 people, maintains seven apprenticeship positions at all times. Click Bond's Carson City facility employs 330 people.
"Partnering with Nevada's Apprenticeship Project to launch our Carson City apprenticeships was the ideal choice," said Larry Harvey, human resources director, Click Bond. "We were able to fast-track the approval process and we are confident that the classroom instruction that our apprentices will receive at TMCC and WNC will be of the highest quality."
According to the Department of Labor, companies that offer apprenticeship programs can diversify their workforce, improve productivity and profitability, standardize training, reduce turnover and receive tax credits.
"For a number of years, manufacturing and high-tech, skills-based trades haven't been attracting an active labor force," said Harvey. "Click Bond realized that we need to attract the next generation of worker with well-paid, long-term career opportunities. Apprenticeships allow us to fill immediate labor needs while providing training and educating to workers."
In September 2015, the Northern Nevada College Apprenticeship Consortium was awarded a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to develop technical career skills for 400 northern Nevadans over the next five years. Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada College are joining together with local advanced manufacturing facilities to support the concept, launch and sustainability of an apprenticeship program.
For the apprentice student, this path offers a training model that combines on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction using the highest industry standards. Apprentices earn competitive wages and enjoy incremental pay increases as they become more proficient.
More than 75 years ago, the apprenticeship system began in construction and other skilled trades. Today there are apprenticeships in more than 1,000 occupations, including careers in healthcare, IT, energy, advanced manufacturing and more.