HELENA — Three Montana businesses were recognized on Nov. 13 for their investment in apprenticeships.
The inaugural awards ceremony is as part of National Registered Apprenticeship Week.
“Today’s award recipients show the success Montana businesses have when they invest in a skilled workforce,” Lt. Governor Mike Cooney said. “Apprenticeships provide Montanans with an opportunity to expand into new and diverse occupations, while earning a paycheck and gaining the skills employers need to grow their business.”
The Montana Sheet Metal Workers Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee was recognized as the 2019 Apprenticeship Sponsor of the Year, the Montana Health Network received the Emerging Apprenticeship Industry Excellence Award and Tri-County Mechanical and Electrical, based in Helena, was named the 2019 Montana Apprenticeship Employer of the Year.
For 30 years Tri-County Mechanical and Electrical has offered apprenticeships and currently has 24 registered apprentices in Montana and Wyoming.
President/CEO Matt Lane served in the Navy as a pipefitter and plumber before joining an apprenticeship program.
“The apprenticeship program has done everything for me,” said lane. “I’m where I'm at due to the apprenticeship program. I got into a program in Butte and know that as long as I worked hard I had a job.”
Lane said he’s proud to give people the same chance he had.
“It’s very important to give that opportunity to young people or middle aged people, and offer the same career path I took,” said Lane. “Apprentices are the future of the business. I would encourage young folks to seriously look at it.”
According to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, apprentices who complete their program earn on average over $20,000 higher than the statewide average wage.
More information about the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program can be found here.