Keokuk High School Starts Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program in Carpentry

For Immediate Release
Date: December 5, 2018
Contact: Debra Fox - 319-753-1671 ext. 30409
Email: debra.fox@iwd.iowa.gov

KEOKUK, IOWA – Keokuk High School and the IowaWORKS Center in Burlington, together with the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship, launched a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program in Carpentry.

This is the first Quality-Pre-Apprenticeship Program in the southeast Iowa. A Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program contributes to the development of a diverse and skilled workforce by preparing participants to meet the basic qualifications for entry into a Registered Apprenticeship Program.

Matt May, Industrial Technology Instructor at Keokuk High School, said the Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program will give students the opportunity to explore a career as a carpenter.

“Skilled trade careers such as carpenters are a great career path,” May said. “With 25 percent of the skilled trade workforce retiring in the next 10 years, there is a need for younger people to choose careers in the skilled trades. Our Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program will allow students to gain the skills so they are ready to start a Registered Apprenticeship in Carpentry after graduation.”

May said the school’s commitment to offering a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program elevates the skilled trades as a career option. Five Rivers Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) is the Registered Apprenticeship sponsor with KC Contractors and Seither and Cherry Contractors participating in the Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Lee County Economic Development Group (Lee County EDG) played an instrumental role by pulling together all of the organizations for this Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Lee County EDG has been a strong proponent for starting Registered Apprenticeship Programs in the area.

“Many students and parents believe college is the only path to a good paying job,” May said. “That’s not the case. The skilled trades pay well and provide a rewarding career. Carpentry requires strong math skills, excellent problem solving abilities and the ability to work with your hands.”

Growing Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Iowa is a key strategy to help the state reach its Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of its workforce have education or training beyond high school by 2025.

“We’re excited to offer the first Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program in southeast Iowa,” said Adam Magliari, Principal of Keokuk High School. “Expanding work-based learning opportunities to our students will allow them to explore careers such as carpentry and be qualified to start a Registered Apprenticeship in Carpentry upon graduation.”

Debra Fox, Business Marketing Specialist at the IowaWORKS Center in Burlington, helped the high school set up their Quality Pre-Appprenticeship Program in Carpentry.

“I applaud Keokuk High School for starting a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program in Carpentry,” Fox said. “Students will be exposed to the work of a carpenter and learn if this is the right career for them. Finding a path to a great paying job where you get paid to learn is a smart choice for many job seekers.”

Growing Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa is one of the goals of a grant received by Iowa Workforce Development from the U.S. Department of Labor. Registered Apprenticeship Programs help recruit, develop a skilled workforce and retain talent. There are currently more than 1,000 apprenticeable occupations in industries that include energy, information technology, healthcare, financial services, transportation, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage preparation, and the building trades.

Businesses interested in learning more about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities can visit the earnandlearniowa.gov website and complete a form to receive more information. Job seekers can also fill out a form to learn about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa.

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