PIQUA ― The Ohio Department of Job and Family Service’s (ODJFS) Ohio Apprenticeship Council has named Edison State Community College as a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor in the state of Ohio. Registered apprenticeship programs teach high-level skills and provide educational resources to prepare individuals for entrance or advancement into today’s workforce.
“This new credential for Edison State allows for an ideal blend of real life work experience with college level courses in both technical and professional foundations,” Edison State President Dr. Doreen Larson said.
“Edison State can facilitate the initial connection between a student and potential employer and then we are able to support the student’s development while responding to regional technical growth through curricular design,” added Dr. Larson. “Our faculty members are eager to apply their expertise in support of this advanced program.”
Apprentices will complete related instruction at Edison while gaining hands-on training with their employer. Additionally, opportunities offered at Edison State will qualify the apprentice to graduate with a certificate or associate degree upon completion. With an associate degree, the apprentice may continue on the path to a bachelor’s degree or enter the workforce.
“This is an excellent resource for individuals looking to enter the workforce or advance in their career,” Peggy Wiggins, director of the Center for Workforce Development and Education at Edison, said. “Some companies will use these apprenticeship programs to recruit new employees, while others will use the curriculum to promote existing employees.”
“There are also benefits to the apprentice such as pay increases every six months, and more often than not, the employer will cover tuition costs. It’s the ultimate learn as you earn program.”
With Edison well on its way to implementing an all-encompassing guided pathway experience for technical career students, the registered apprenticeship program aims to enhance this model. In 2016, Edison received the ACT State Award for Career Readiness in recognition of its commitment to up-front and mandated career choices for incoming students.
“Many manufacturing companies in West Central Ohio are already participating in workforce development programs, and with our career pathways program, Edison State has the foundation to make the registered apprenticeship program worthwhile for those seeking relevant and customized training,” said Rick Hanes, vice president of Business and Community Partnerships at Edison.
The registered apprenticeship program will use existing relationships Edison has developed with regional employers and economic development partners to set students on a path toward achieving their career goals.
“Sponsorship has already been developed for MaMa Rosa’s in Sidney, and we have also received written letters of support from additional industry leaders who are interested in participating in the program,” Hanes said.
Edison hopes to build on the success of the neighboring Upper Valley Career Center, which currently offers a pre-apprenticeship program for high school students.
“We believe these companies are just in the initial stages of a robust registered apprenticeship program at Edison State with many stakeholders eventually involved,” Hanes said.
While the initial focus of Edison State’s registered apprenticeship program is placed on manufacturing to meet the in-demand need, other industries will be pursued including information technology, healthcare, and business services.
Ohio has more than 900 Registered Apprenticeship programs in fields as diverse as aerospace, construction, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, and utilities. Each program includes, at minimum, 2,000 hours of structured on-the-job training and 144 hours per year of related technical instruction.
For more information about the registered apprenticeship program at Edison State, contact Peggy Wiggins at 778-7816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.