Governor Evers’ visit to Mid-State Technical College focuses on apprenticeship
Governor Tony Evers made a stop this week to visit Mid-State Technical College and learn more about the College’s apprenticeship programs. The March 5 visit to the Wisconsin Rapids Campus included a tour of the campus highlighting a number of apprenticeship labs and a meet-and-greet of current apprentices and their employer sponsors. The visit concluded with remarks from Governor Evers and Caleb Frostman, secretary designee of the Department of Workforce Development as well as Mid-State’s president, Dr. Shelly Mondeik.
Evers addressed the importance of having good interactions between the business community and our technical colleges as well as the role of apprenticeships in Wisconsin’s economy. “In 1911 Wisconsin was one of the first states to start an apprenticeship program,” he said. “Now there are 12,000 registered apprenticeships in the state of Wisconsin. I can't tell you how important that is to our state's economy.”
Frostman shared his surprise when first seeing the starting salaries for apprenticeship completers in his new role, at a reported median of $77,753 in a 2016–17 survey. “It was really compelling,” he said. “I was blown away by that.”
Frostman also stressed the importance of making connections between students and employers early and often and developing those relationships so we can retain workforce talent across all industries. “I'm really excited to be part of the team that's going to make those connections and hopefully retain our best and brightest here in Wisconsin and attract more to come join us.”
According to College officials, Mid-State provides apprenticeship training for over 100 businesses in Wisconsin, and statewide participation in apprenticeship has increased by 47 percent since 2013. Apprenticeship combines on-the-job learning with classroom instruction and is sponsored by employers, employer associations, or labor/management groups that have the ability to hire and train in a working environment. The system of work-based learning fulfills the needs of industry by preparing workers for skilled trades but is equally advantageous to students who would like to earn while they learn and gain entry in fields that typically require experience. Learn more at mstc.edu/apprenticeship.