SLATE’s Special Projects Department has developed and is growing a House of Apprenticeships. The House is a collection of established ways to enter a number of industries as part of a Registered Apprenticeship – flexible training that offers immediate employment while receiving technical instruction and on-the-job learning.
Traditionally, Registered Apprenticeships are associated with construction-related trades such as plumbing and carpentry. However, this is no longer the case; nationwide, a movement is underway to create apprenticeship programs in IT, healthcare and other high-growth industries that offer livable wage entry level positions and career advancement.
SLATE’s House of Apprenticeships has already established program partnerships with Ranken Technical College (Advanced Manufacturing and Automotive Technician), EXPLORE St. Louis (Conventions and Tourism), Urban Labs Diagnostic Healthcare Solutions (Phlebotomy and Laboratory Technician), LUME Institute (Early Childhood Education), BLUE1647 (IT) and HOSCO SHIFT (Agri-Culinary). These newer programs supplement SLATE’s existing Building Union Diversity (BUD) initiative with numerous building trades.
This is only the start of an extensive planned network of apprenticeship opportunities throughout the St. Louis region – programs with over a dozen additional partners, of all kinds and sizes, are already in development. SLATE’s Special Projects Manager, Stacey Fowler, says “Apprenticeships have always been seen as another word for ‘blue-collar’, but this is definitely changing. Whatever the interests or abilities a jobseeker has, odds are we can help find an appropriate apprenticeship to match.”
The advantages of Registered Apprenticeships include wage increases, portable credentials, college credits, and experienced mentors in addition to the ability to ‘Earn as you Learn’.