As the eighth annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) draws to a close, it’s clear that organizers promoted not only the manufacturing industry but the benefits of a Registered Apprenticeship program.

NAW 2022 included roundtable and panel discussions, conferences, and career and trade fairs hosted by stakeholders in the “earn-as-you-learn” model, in a bid to connect individuals to paid work experience, classroom instruction and a nationally recognized credential. The annual week of observation also helps employers develop their future workforce, the need for which is something the door and window manufacturing industry understands.

Official proclamations in the hundreds and events across all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia were hash-tagged on social media more than 7,000 times by a motley assortment of users. From the Department of Labor—both the U.S. DOL as well as many state-level departments—to unions, trade associations and schools that facilitate apprenticeships, the national week of observance was on the minds of many.

President Biden issued one of those official proclamations early in the week, pointing to the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative, a recently-created national network of businesses and labor organizations.

Apprenticeships are not foreign in the door, window and millwork industries.

Renewal By Andersen of Greater Maine started an apprenticeship program earlier this year, as reported on WDBJ. The apprentices learn on the job, with both classroom and hands-on practice in the shop, before going out in the field.

The Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvaniaprovides information about apprenticeship programs in the area, through local groups. For example, the guild lists the Keystone+Mountain+Lakes Regional Council of Carpenters for its certified apprenticeships including one in mill cabinetry. Also accessible through the Council is the Carpenters’ Joint Apprenticeship Training Center, which “offers hands-on and classroom training in a variety of career opportunities.” The guild also refers website visitors to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council #57 for its union glazier apprentice program.

Out in California, the California Apprenticeship Coordinators Association exists to do exactly what its name describes: coordinate apprenticeships, including those in carpentry, glazing and mill cabinetry.

Some industry members are working with local schools to introduce apprenticeship programs earlier. Eastern Millwork Inc. has a program with Hudson County Community College allowing students to get paid, on-the-job training while earning their associates degree, with a schedule that lets them work three days a week along with having some tuition covered by the program.

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