Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology has developed a modern apprenticeship program designed to address the growing skills gap and meet the needs of changing industries.
According to the 2015 Manufacturing Institute Report, 60 percent of the 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled by 2025. The MCC-Business & Technology degree-seeking registered apprenticeship program will help to narrow the gap in Kansas City, enhancing the skill set of the labor force, training new employees and eventually identifying an untapped labor pool.
“Supplying the workforce in Kansas City with skilled, prepared employees is a critical part of our mission at MCC,” said Dr. Jackie Gill, president of MCC-Business & Technology. “Our degree-seeking apprenticeships will serve the community by helping to bolster the local economy and creating opportunities for students and workers.”
The Business & Technology campus will provide apprenticeships in the following programs:
- Industrial Maintenance and Repair
- Industrial Electrician Automation and Repair
- Precision Machining and Tool and Die
- Building and Facilities Maintenance
- Engineering Technology
- Cisco Network Security
- Information Technology
- Client Relation Management
Additional programs are available upon request, said Joseph Roche, dean of instruction at MCC-Business & Technology.
“To address the skills gap, companies must develop and engage their existing workforces and identify workers with the necessary skills,” he said. “We know there’s a demand for upskilling the labor force, and our apprenticeship program meets that demand. We’re providing a high-quality academic experience to the apprentices, who will be learning from industry-experienced instructors in state-of-the-art labs.”
Kansas City Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Challenge Manufacturing located in North Kansas City, is one of the first to sign up for the apprenticeship program at MCC.
“Hiring already trained team members is no longer an option for us; they are just not out there,” said Tabatha Walker, training coordinator for Kansas City Manufacturing. “Doing an apprenticeship program through MCC is key to support essential team members for long-term growth.”
Kansas City Manufacturing will be offering a Tool and Die, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Maintenance Electrician and Robotics Technician program in the fall.
The apprenticeships at MCC-Business & Technology allow businesses to customize their employees’ training while the college manages the program. The program also allows companies to focus on employee success while the campus handles the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) paperwork and requirements:
- 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year with a mentor
- Five to seven related instruction courses per year at MCC
- Paid wages that typically start at 60 percent of final wages or minimum wage (whichever is higher) and raise incrementally
- Train-the-Trainer program for mentors
- Yearly on-the-job site visits by an MCC instructor
“Making this a seamless process for our business partners is extremely important,” Gill said. “We want to help businesses replenish their staff with highly-skilled employees.”
Apprenticeships have been a major initiative for the last two presidential administrations, which have invested nearly $300 million through ApprenticeshipUSA, a DOL program.
The business-led apprenticeship program at MCC-Business & Technology will provide employees with a certificate of a federally approved apprenticeship, Associate of Applied Science degree, industry-related certifications and testing, minimum wage or better (with wage increases as their skills increase) and debt-free college credits that are transferable to four-year institutions.
“This program will help our business partners improve their productivity and profits, as well as reduce turnover costs and increase employee retention,” Roche said.
Industry open house
MCC-Business & Technology is hosting an open house at from 5:30 to 8 p.m. July 19 in CC 248, with dinner served at 6 p.m. During the event, business representatives will have an opportunity to learn more about the apprenticeship program and tour our state-of-the-art facilities.
If you are interested in attending the open house, contact Shonda Atwater, apprenticeship outreach director, via email at Shonda.Atwater@mcckc.edu.
Did you know?
According to the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeships, for every dollar spent on an apprentice, employers see an average of $1.47 in increased productivity.