The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) announced today that the agency has been awarded a $641K Apprenticeship Expansion Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Apprenticeships are industry-driven training programs which allow job seekers to earn a paycheck and learn a skilled trade at the same time. The grant spans a three-year period and funds will be used to expand apprenticeship opportunities throughout Wyoming.
"The skilled trades comprise some of the fastest-growing and high-wage career opportunities available without a four-year degree," said Robin Sessions Cooley, director of DWS. "We have employers across our state telling us they can't fill their positions due to a lack of skilled applicants.The Apprenticeship Expansion Grant will allow us to assist in building this critical talent pipeline."
Director Cooley said that in addition to solving skill deficit and workforce shortage challenges for employers, apprenticeships offer a number of excellent opportunities for workers. "The fantastic thing about going through an apprenticeship program is the long-term career stability it affords our citizens. We know, from research done by the U.S. Department of Labor, that after completing an apprenticeship 94 percent of workers retain their employment. We know the average starting wage is $70,000 after completing the program. It only makes sense that we leverage these opportunities in any way we can."
Director Cooley said in addition to expanding opportunities for workers, the program will offer technical and financial assistance to employers looking to offer apprenticeships in their industry.
For more information about the Apprenticeship Expansion Grant, please contact Sheila Tenorio at (307) 777-2892 or firstname.lastname@example.org.