The Erie Regional Manufacturing Partnership (ERMP) is announcing the one-year results from the Greater Oh-Penn Manufacturing Apprenticeship Network’s use of a nearly $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The five-year grant is helping to bridge students with manufacturing companies and helping those companies meet their employment needs.
“We’ve had apprenticeships for years,” said Bill Hilbert Jr., president of Reddog Industries in Erie. “They went dormant for a while due to the fact that we just couldn’t find students who were interested. Now, we have candidates.”
Hilbert’s company is one of about 25 businesses offering 40 apprenticeship, according to Jessica Borza, project lead at ERMP.
She says many of the manufacturing companies have started their own apprenticeship programs.
“So, we’ve been pushing with manufacturers over the past year the value and benefits of apprenticeships. They’ve been extraordinarily receptive. In fact, almost half of our ERMP manufacturers have taken advantage of this program in this first year.”
Since being founded in 2014, the organization’s partners have employed more than 9,100 manufacture workers.