CHEYENNE - The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, the Wyoming Office of Apprenticeship and communities throughout the state will celebrate the fourth annual Apprenticeship Week in Wyoming next week. Governor Matt Mead signed a proclamation today designating Nov. 12-18 Apprenticeship Week in Wyoming. The week brings awareness and rallies support for apprenticeships in the state.
"Apprenticeships are business-driven training programs designed to meet the precise needs of an industry while providing apprentices with valuable skills," said Department of Workforce Services Director John Cox. "These programs develop the skills that put apprentices on the path of great careers. Apprentices, in turn, provide the foundation for a vital and diverse workforce."
Apprenticeships are viable alternatives to a college degree, said Michael Ann Broad, the Wyoming state director of the Office of Apprenticeship. In collaboration with the Wyoming Department of Education, Wyoming community colleges, and the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, as well as the federal Department of Labor, the Office of Apprenticeship is ramping up efforts to steer students toward good careers that begin with apprenticeships.
Broad said in many of the skilled trades, for every seven people retiring, only one is being replaced. Her office is helping align what high schools already teach to the skills gap plaguing the trades.
"High schools are developing these pathways for students to move into these careers," she said.
Apprenticeship Week gives apprenticeship program sponsors across Wyoming the opportunity to showcase their apprentices, programs and facilities. In Wyoming, 81 Registered Apprenticeship programs are operating with 410 apprentices. Registered Apprenticeship programs in Wyoming are providing training in the occupations of public safety, linemen, electricians, plumbers, machinists, sheet metal workers, carpenters, gas main fitters, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and iron workers and more.
The Department of Workforce Services can provide grants for apprenticeship programs. Two of these programs have begun at Laramie County Community College - one is tailored to Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, and the other is for Plumbing apprentices. Both programs are U.S. Department of Labor approved apprenticeship programs.
Apprenticeship Week events throughout Wyoming include:
- November 13 - 9 a.m. -3 p.m., Registered Apprenticeship Fair, Casper College Pathways Innovation Center, and Casper Mayor Ray Pacheco will read and sign the Casper Apprenticeship Week Proclamation, 3000 Independence Ct., Casper
- November 14 - 7 p.m., Glenrock Mayor Doug Frank will read and sign the Glenrock Apprenticeship Week Proclamation at Glenrock Town Hall, 219 S. 3rd St.
- November 16 - 10:15 a.m., Cheyenne Mayor Marion Orr will read and sign the Cheyenne Apprenticeship Week Proclamation in the Mayor's Conference Room at Cheyenne City Building, 415 W. 18th St.
- November 17 - 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., the Wyoming Governor's Council on Development Disabilities Information Conference - EmploymentFirst Presentation on Apprenticeship - at Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center, 800 N. Poplar St., Casper
Several mayors and Gov. Mead already have signed Apprenticeship Week proclamations.
- November 5 - Sheridan Mayor Roger Miller read and signed the Sheridan Apprenticeship Week proclamation
- November 5 - Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon read and signed the Jackson and Wilson Apprenticeship Week proclamation
- November 6 - Torrington Mayor Mike Varney read and signed the Torrington Apprenticeship Week proclamation
- November 7 - Laramie Mayor Andi Summerville read and signed the Laramie Apprenticeship Week proclamation
- November 9 - Gov. Mead declared Nov. 12-18 Apprenticeship Week in Wyoming with a proclamation signing at the Kendrick Gallery
For more information regarding the apprenticeship effort in Wyoming, contact Michael Ann Broad, State Director of the Wyoming Office of Apprenticeship at 307-772-2448 or Department of Workforce Services Communications Manager Ty Stockton at 307-777-6911.