Apprentices: You’re hired!

By Greg Jones, VP- AMT Smartforce Development

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) recognizes apprenticeship programs where the competency that an apprentice learns is as important, if not more important than the amount of time an individual spends learning.

In November, DOL took another step in its recent effort to bridge the skills gap in U.S. manufacturing by encouraging new apprenticeship programs and to providing funds to support those programs.

DOL has selected the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) as an industry intermediary to support the expansion of registered apprenticeships within manufacturing. As part of this initiative, there are significant funds available that AMT member companies can tap into to establish a new registered apprenticeship program or expand an existing apprenticeship program.

NIMS will support companies by equipping them with the necessary information needed to design and implement an apprenticeship program, coordinate with community colleges in your local area to provide curriculum, and assist in expanding apprenticeships into non-traditional job functions beyond (and including) machinist apprenticeships.

NIMS met in early November with the AMT Global Service Committee to discuss apprenticeships in the field service technician job function. NIMS has recently developed a new standard for industrial maintenance technicians and is in the process of updating the NIMS Level II & III standards for machine maintenance repair and building. These standards will be used a part of a competency-based apprenticeship program for field service technicians.

For more information visit ApprenticeshipUSA, or email the NIMS ApprenticeshipUSA team at

For more frequent updates about Smartforce Development, follow @GregoryAJones on Twitter.

Categories: Smartforce

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