NWTC’s Apprenticeship program helping Green Bay’s trade worker shortage

Green Bay (US) : NWTC is taking students out of the classroom, and into the workforce — as paid employees.

Despite working in the electrical maintenance field for 20 years, JP Grabian is fine tuning his craft through NWTC’s apprenticeship program. “Well for me its continuing my education; last time I went to school here was 1995, and a lot has changed.The hands-on is definitely helpful, very helpful” said Grabian.

The apprenticeship program allows students to get paid for the hours spent in the classroom, with the majority of the training happening right on the job. NWTC officials say the apprenticeship program is helping to bridge the shortage of trade workers in the area.

“I’m very proud to tell you today that there are over 6,000 students in the technical college system that are getting their related instruction in an apprenticeship program,” said Dr. Morna Foy, President of the Wisconsin Technical College System.

NWTC offers more than 40 apprenticeships throughout its campuses. That includes opportunities with major contractors, such as Tweet-Garot Mechanical.

“I have served on the local-state apprenticeship for 20 years and I know how this thing works and I see the great training these kids get that come through our program,” said Michael Sturdivant, Executive Vice President at Tweet-Garot.

Trade workers like Grabian say the program has given him the chance to become a more skilled worker, without having to sacrifice a cut in pay, “It’s hard to find a company that will actually pay, and the only way for me to go through this program is for a company to pay for it.”

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