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May 12, 2010

Apprenticeship Education Conference aims to expand opportunities for employers and workers

TACOMA — More than 400 employers, educators and policymakers are expected to attend the first Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Education Conference May 19 and 20 at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center.

Registered apprenticeship is a way to earn money while learning an occupation through on-the-job training and related classroom instruction. Apprenticeships cover a variety of occupations, including manufacturing, building trades, cosmetology, and health care.

Conference attendees will learn how to begin, operate and promote registered apprenticeship programs through a variety of workshops.

“This conference does more than promote the value of registered apprenticeships — it also gives employers the tools they need to successfully operate a registered apprenticeship program,” said Melinda Nichols, apprenticeship program manager at the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), which assists apprenticeship sponsors with local administration of their training programs. “Industries and the trades need to attract and retain qualified candidates so they don’t face a shortage of skilled workers.”

Breakout sessions will include:

  • How to begin a registered apprenticeship program.
  • Workforce development for educators advocating apprenticeship to students.
  • How to keep your apprenticeship program in compliance.

“Apprenticeships are a great option for career development,” Employment Security Department (ESD) Commissioner Karen Lee said. “Employees get the experience they need for stable careers with family wage jobs.”

For a conference agenda, visit apprenticeshipconference.com. Registration for the conference has closed.

The Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Education Conference is a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Labor, L&I, ESD and the Washington State Apprenticeship Training Council. It is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and sponsor donations.

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For media information: Selena Davis, L&I, 360-902-6593.

Broadcast version: More than 400 people are expected to attend the first Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Education Conference May 19 and 20 in Tacoma. The conference is for apprenticeship program leaders, policymakers, trade groups, non-profit leaders, and educators. Melinda Nichols, apprenticeship program manager at the Department of Labor and Industries, says the conference will give employers the tools they need to operate a registered apprenticeship program. For more information, visit apprenticeshipconference dot com.

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