Governor Greg Gianforte today announced Montana’s Registered Apprenticeship program has added 515 new apprentices and 41 new employer sponsors in the first half of 2022.
Under the governor’s leadership, Montana’s apprenticeship program has expanded rapidly. More apprentices were added in the first six months of this year than in the first six months of 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined. New apprenticeship registrations this year have already far surpassed full-year totals in 2019 and 2020.
“Apprenticeship programs empower Montana workers, expand their lifetime earning potential, and ensure employers have a highly-skilled workforce,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Everybody wins when we give both workers and employers the tools they need to thrive, including the more than 500 new apprentices and more than 40 new employer sponsors from the first half of this year. We’ll continue expanding apprenticeships as we develop our workforce, ramp up housing supply, and create more good-paying Montana jobs.”
Montana’s Registered Apprenticeship program, administered by the Department of Labor & Industry, enables workers to receive paid, supervised, on-the-job training in more than 100 different occupations across Montana.
“Nearly half of all job growth in Montana over the next ten years will come in apprenticeable occupations,” said Laurie Esau, Montana’s Commissioner of Labor & Industry. “One year after graduation, average wages for individuals who complete an apprenticeship are more than twice that of degree holders from other institutions. Each new apprentice registered and each new employer sponsor help us build Montana’s workforce pipeline. Expanding apprenticeship opportunities to even more Montana workers will continue to be a top priority of the Department.”
The vast majority of the new apprentices and employer sponsors were added following reforms adopted by the Department of Labor & Industry at the governor’s direction earlier this year. Those reforms dramatically expanded employers’ ability to offer apprenticeships.
The revised program rules enable more apprentices to work under the supervision of a trained journeyman, giving employer sponsors more flexibility in adding apprentices to their programs. The changes were widely praised by industry leaders that utilize apprenticeship training programs.
Promoting and increasing access to apprenticeship opportunities and trades education to build a stronger Montana workforce are key pillars of Gov. Gianforte’s Montana Comeback Plan.