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February 23, 2022

New partnership establishes registered apprenticeship certifications for Missouri National Guard

Celebration kicks off first of its kind program set to recognize training of Missouri guardsmen


The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, in coordination with the Missouri National Guard and the Missouri Governor's Office, announced the establishment of the Project Eagle Apprenticeship Program, to qualify military training and experience towards a federally-recognized apprenticeship certification.

“We are so proud of our military men and women here in Missouri. This program, which takes military training and turns it into a nationally recognized credential, is just one more way we can show our support for the folks who serve and support us,” Governor Parson said. “The Project Eagle Apprenticeship Program allows service members to earn a credential that can translate into career advancements, helping bridge the gap between military and civilian life.”

With this new partnership, the Missouri National Guard has been able to register as an apprenticeship sponsor as a result of collaboration between the Office of Apprenticeship & Work-based Learning, the U.S. Department of Labor, and military partners. This certification will be a no-cost benefit to service members, who will receive an apprenticeship credential upon completion of their on-the-job learning hours. Learning occurs during duty hours under the direction of the service members’ supervisors. The programs are tailored to fit any enlisted Military Occupational Specialty or Air Force Specialty Code (MOS/AFSC) in the Missouri National Guard.

A kickoff celebration of the Project Eagle Apprenticeship Program was held today at the Ike Skelton Training Site, Missouri National Guard Headquarters in Jefferson City. Governor Parson, Major General Levon Cumpton, and Director of Workforce Development Dr. Mardy Leathers all shared their support for the new program during today’s celebration. Specialist Kirkland Maneth and Master Sgt. Chase Jenkins are the first two Guardsmen to enroll and participate in the Registered Apprenticeship Program. 

The new apprenticeship program, through MONG, is the largest and most comprehensive program of its kind in the nation. It includes 170 occupations with every unit within MONG Air and Army participating in the program – which is the only of its kind.

“The Apprenticeship Program aligns with our culture of taking care of each other,” said Maj. Gen. Levon Cumpton. “It does so by providing national certification, which demonstrates the compatibility between military training and required skills for civilian employment. I am exceptionally proud of our partnership with DHEWD and the hard work of the team who made this opportunity possible."

Registered Apprenticeships are an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where workers gain experience, classroom instruction, and a transferable credential. Apprenticeships are a flexible training model and a viable tool for the state to use to give Missourians the tools and credentials to advance in their careers.

“The successful work of matching over 170 Missouri National Guard occupations to approved apprenticeship occupations is due to the experience, and dedication of our Missouri Office of Apprenticeships’ Apprenticeship and Training Representatives, who are all retired guardsmen,” said Dr. Mardy Leathers. “They all have a passion to assist those who serve, and I believe this new program will be a lasting legacy to future service members.”

Missouri currently ranks third in the nation for completed apprenticeships, fourth in the nation for new apprentices, and sixth for active apprentices.

In FY 2021, Missouri had 14,520 active apprentices across 460 registered programs. Missouri ranks in the top 10 in the nation across four out of five categories for Registered Apprenticeships.

Service members can learn more about this apprenticeship opportunity on the MONG website: https://www.moguard.ngb.mil/Programs/MONG-Apprenticeship-Program/.

Learn more about other apprenticeship opportunities in Missouri at https://dhewd.mo.gov/apprenticeship_missouri.php.