Idaho aims to close skill gaps, approves $1.4M apprenticeship grant

Dive Brief:

  • Idaho is set to receive $1.4 million in federal grants to expand the state's apprenticeship programs across industries that are dealing with the worst skill gaps in decades, reports Twin Falls-based newspaper Magic Valley. Around 80% of the apprenticeship programs are in construction-related jobs. 
  • The grant will provide much-needed funding for the nearly 1,000 registered apprentice programs in advanced manufacturing and energy, healthcare, IT among others. It will also serve to fund administrative and educational support. The state had already received an initial $200K planning grant early in 2016. 
  • Since many apprenticeships take on average 2-5 years to complete, Idaho should start seeing fewer shortages in skilled labor in the coming years. The reports says that apprenticeships offer above average wages and more incentives than other jobs, both aspects that appeal to younger candidates. 

Dive Insight:

Like many mid-western and central states, Idaho was hit bad by the recession, which left many residents looking for jobs elsewhere. Shortages of labor are a constant struggle for employers in such areas, so the news of additional funding to train apprentices is probably welcome news.

Other states can learn from the concentrated effort that Idaho is making to improve the candidate pool and provide more apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people. 

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Filed Under: Learning