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November 15, 2023

Missouri celebrates National Apprenticeship Week, commend continued growth and opportunities

Governor Mike Parson signed a proclamation designating November 13-19 as National Apprenticeship Week in Missouri to help raise awareness about the vital role registered apprenticeships play in helping Missourians find opportunities that lead to good, quality jobs.

“The State of Missouri recognizes that registered apprenticeships, a proven and industry-driven training model, is a key strategy to improving job quality and creating access to good-paying, family-sustaining jobs for all, starting with youth and young adults, while also addressing some of our nation’s pressing workforce challenges,” Gov. Parson explains in his proclamation.

Missouri is one of the top states in the nation for registered apprenticeships, ranking second for new apprenticeships and third for completed apprenticeships as of November.

“Missouri continues its commitment to providing pathways to quality, sustainable employment for our citizens,” said Julie Carter, director of the Office of Workforce Development. “We look forward to celebrating this week each year to help raise awareness and recognize how registered apprenticeships help meet the changing demands of Missouri’s economy while also providing individuals an opportunity for growth and well-paying careers.”

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development commemorated National Apprenticeship Week by hosting the annual Apprenticeship Summit on Nov. 14 in St. Louis. This year’s theme, Moving Missouri Forward through Apprenticeship, focused on the different ways that registered apprenticeships are used as a workforce solution. During the summit, Apprenticeship Missouri Awards were presented to the following recipients:

  • Dr. John Gaal Apprenticeship Missouri Legacy Award: Neil Perry — Mr. Perry served as the State Director with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Missouri Office of Apprenticeship team for 22 years. His roles and contributions during his leadership led Missouri to second place in the nation. 
  • Partner of the Year: U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)  — Missouri Office of Apprenticeship — The USDOL Office of Apprenticeship team has worked alongside the Office of Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning (OAWBL) to promote registered apprenticeship, provide training and technical assistance needs, and support Missouri’s efforts to expand registered apprenticeship. Their assistance in these efforts have been invaluable.
  • Provider of the Year: Finishing Trades Institutes (FTI) Midwest — FTI Midwest is the training arm for the International Union of Painters an Allied Trades, providing training to apprentices associated with District Council 58. FTI Midwest is devoted to providing accessibility to its apprentices and has made ESL and HiSet classes available to apprentices.
  • Employer of the Year: Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) — MDOC utilizes registered apprenticeship to train its corrections officers. MDOC is one of the largest participating employers in Missouri outside of the union trade programs. Through MDOC’s program over 1300 corrections officers are receiving high-quality training. The corrections officers’ occupation is one of the top five occupations in Missouri, as well.

MDHEWD and OAWBL continue to prioritize access to registered apprenticeship programs, as well as expanding current programs, and launching new partnerships. As of November, there are a total of 19,800 active apprentices statewide.

In 2019, Missouri set a goal to serve 20,000 new registered apprentices by 2025. The state met this goal three years early, in FY 2022, and has since continued its efforts to push for even more opportunities. Missouri unveiled its next goal to serve 55,000 new apprentices during the Apprenticeship Summit. Electrician, correction officer, sheet metal worker, and teacher’s aides are among the top occupations apprentices are participating in.

There are more opportunities for Missouri’s youth to receive hands-on learning and join the state’s workforce through registered youth apprenticeships. Currently, there are 29 registered programs, with 353 active apprentices in occupations including healthcare, cybersecurity, transportation, construction, and advanced manufacturing.

To learn more about apprenticeship opportunities in Missouri, visit moapprenticeconnect.com­ and jobs.mo.gov/moapprenticeships