Students and instructors with the Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program spent two days in December at the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center’s Mount Joy Campus working on a OSHA certification. The program is one of the ’s efforts to get individuals interested in the manufacturing field and prepares them to enter a manufacturing apprenticeship program at completion of the two-year course.
For a number of years, partnering institutions including the LCCTC, the Manufacturers Association, MANTEC, and the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board have worked together to support and offer the Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program as an effort to address the skilled job gap in the region. Students from Lancaster County school districts who are not attending the LCCTC are eligible to participate in the program.
The skilled job gap is the supply of trained workers available to industry compared to the number of open jobs within that industry. As the decades have passed, this gap has widened significantly. Organizations like those in the partnership to offer the Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program all work continually, from different professional angles, to create those skilled workers who are so critical to the health of industry. Every worker that we send into the workforce or on to higher education is one more job filled, one more employment need met.
Miranda Martz, the Pre-Apprenticeship Coordinator with the Manufacturers’ Association, explained that the program hopes to get these students involved with the employers offering apprenticeships and build relationships that might grow into eventual employment.
“We are working with the Lancaster County CTC toward the same goal but we are coming from the opposite direction,” Ms. Martz said. “The CTC’s relationship with school districts and the community is where they draw their students from. The Manufacturing Association works with employers in the region to build opportunities for employers to connect with skilled workers and students.
“Our hope is that we get these students interested and invested in machining and manufacturing in general and have them move into the state-approved apprenticeship program with one of our member employers,” Ms. Martz said.