Maine Kicks Off National Apprenticeship Week with Visit to Pre-Apprenticeship Training in Newport Bookmark and Share

November 15, 2022

For Immediate Release: November 15, 2022

Maine Kicks Off National Apprenticeship Week with Visit to Pre-Apprenticeship Training in Newport

The Dept. of Labor is also hosting a series of webinars all week for employers.

Maine - This morning, Maine Dept. of Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman visited pre-apprenticeship students from Nokomis Regional High School at the Augusta Electrical JATC's Central Maine Apprenticeship Center in Newport to kick off National Apprenticeship Week.

Governor Janet Mills, who last year visited a community solar site in Farmingdale to highlight the value of apprenticeships in strengthening Maines workforce, has signed a proclamation for this years celebration, to be recognized November 14-20.

"For the first time in Maine, the Maine AFL-CIO, in conjunction with IBEW 1253 Augusta Electrical JATC, launched a multi-craft core curriculum pre-apprenticeship program with local high school students," Commissioner Laura Fortman said. "These students are being provided a clear pathway to a wide variety of careers in construction, clean energy, and manufacturing."

The Commissioner's remarks were joined by remarks from pre-apprentice Jillian Rackliff, Michael Hammer, Superintendent of RSU 19, Micah Cram, a representative of Larkin Enterprises and a former apprentice himself, and George Howe of IBEW 1253. The Commissioner was then able to visit the classrooms where pre-apprentices were practicing first aid skills and learning how to wire a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

About the Program:

The Maine AFL-CIO, in conjunction with IBEW 1253 Augusta Electrical JATC, launched NABTUs multi-craft core curriculum pre-apprenticeship program with local high school students this fall-a first in Maine. In this pre-apprenticeship program, 19 Nokomis Regional High students meet every other day to learn a variety of trade skills while exploring the various careers within construction, all while developing life and career readiness. These students will be provided a pathway to a wide variety of careers in construction, clean energy, and manufacturing, all of which are focus areas of the Governors Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan - https://www.maine.gov/jobsplan/ .

As part of the Plan, the Maine AFL-CIO received grant funding earlier this year to develop and expand three pre-apprenticeship programs such as this one. The Maine AFL-CIO and the 13 other grantees will create opportunities for 2,000 pre-apprentices and 1,000 registered apprentices through December 2024.

A Fact Sheet on Registered Apprenticeship in Maine can be found at https://www.maine.gov/labor/docs/2022/apprenticeship/ApprenticeshipPressPacket2022.pdf

Other Apprenticeship Week Activities:

Employers are also encouraged to join the Department for a series of webinars exploring how registered apprenticeship could help meet their workforce needs.

On Friday, November 18, the Department will also host a virtual panel discussion with apprenticeship sponsors General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, HospitalityMaine, and Somerset Career & Technical Center. The sponsors will provide an overview of how they started their registered apprenticeship programs and will be followed by a facilitated discussion with the opportunity for attendees to ask questions. Descriptions of each webinar and panel and how to register can be found here:

https://www.maine.gov/labor/jobs_training/apprenticeship/naw2022/index.shtml

For more information on Registered Apprenticeship, visit https://www.maine.gov/labor/jobs_training/apprenticeship/index.shtml

Supporting documents

Graphic: Pre-apprentice Dillion Mayhew practices wiring a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

Graphic: Pre-apprentices Jillian Rackliff and Caleb Edkins practice sign language as part of their first aid training.

Graphic: Commissioner Laura Fortman speaks at Augusta Electrical JATC’s Central Maine Apprenticeship Center in Newport.