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ICC Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week: November 8-14

Illinois Central College and its Workforce and Diversity division proudly celebrate this week’s fifth annual U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW). The nationwide celebration brings together business leaders, labor, educational institutions and those interested in apprenticeships to showcase the impact of apprenticeship programs on closing the U.S. skills gap and preparing the workforce. ICC is showcasing current apprentices and highlighting their apprenticeship programs to celebrate NAW.

“Nationwide, there are nearly 25,000 registered apprenticeship programs with over 633,000 apprentices obtaining the skills they need to succeed while earning wages needed to build financial security,” said ICC President Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey. “ICC is proud to serve our community by preparing a highly-skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of manufacturing and IT employers.”

ICC Earn and Learn program participants, including apprentices, have the opportunity to earn a degree or certificate with little to no college debt. Apprenticeship program participants receive 300 to 450 hours of coursework for each year of apprenticeship and graduate with an associate in applied science degree. They split their time between the classroom and the workplace, gaining knowledge and hands-on experience in tandem.

“Our apprenticeship program offers the unique ability for students to earn a wage while receiving an education concurrently with on-the-job training to reinforce classroom activities,” said ICC Workforce Development Manager Michelle DeVore. “The employer is provided with an employee that is receiving related technical training at the college and applying skills learned immediately for the benefit of the company. Providing this program fills an employment need in our region in hard to fill positions with engaged employees.”

ICC Sophomore Jay Buehler said, “The apprenticeship program is very beneficial for someone starting with a small knowledge base who wants to develop into a skilled craftsman. It allows you the opportunity to have as much on the job experience as possible. I am definitely a more robust craftsman because of the ICC apprenticeship program.”

ICC currently supports apprentices in Industrial Maintenance and Secure Software. NAW events and activities will be taking place across the country, including open houses, skill competitions, community forums, apprentice graduations, business open houses, apprenticeship signing days, industry roundtable events and more.

For more information, visit apprenticeship.gov/NAW.