HELENA — On Monday at Dick Anderson Construction in Helena, Governor Greg Gianforte signed a proclamation declaring the week of November 15th to November 21st to be Apprenticeship Week in the state of Montana.
Nearly 50% of projected job growth over the next 10 years will be in apprentice-able occupations. That comes to a little over 30,000 jobs per year. On average apprentices can earn a little under $60 thousand per year.
Some types of trades for these apprentices include carpentry, plumbing, electrician, and cyber security, among others.
In April, Gianforte signed into law the Montana Trades Education Credit. This provides $1 million per year in 50% credits that are given to businesses for their employees to learn a new trade.
“We need more carpenters and plumbers and electricians. These are good paying jobs and yet firms like Dick Anderson are having trouble finding people. So, this is why we encourage apprenticeships and why we've allocated money to help people get these skills,” said Gianforte about apprenticeship programs.
Bill Weist, a former landscaper turned carpenter, started an apprenticeship program two years ago at Dick Anderson Construction. Since then, he’s learned numerous valuable and applicable skills.
“I'm able to do more on the job now; stuff that I didn't know when I started because I knew nothing coming into the business. At all. And it helps you get, I mean, if you promote yourself and do well you get your raises. You complete the program, they give you a raise for that. So, well-being, I mean you make more money. You learn a ton,” says Weist.
Montana also offers an apprenticeship tax credit for businesses that launch or expand training programs through Montana Registered Apprenticeship Unit.