Local Workforce Development Area becomes First Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor in Arkansas

“Employers Growing Talent through Apprenticeships” was an informational forum put on by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services as part of National Apprenticeship Week, drew 86 attendees to the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub where State Director Lee Price signed two official registered apprenticeship agreements at the event.

One program involved Arkansas breaking new apprenticeship ground with the signing of a Local Workforce Development Board as a sponsor for registered apprenticeship programs in its six-county area.

Central Arkansas Planning and Development District (CAPDD) is the WIOA services provider and One-Stop operator for the region surrounding Little Rock, the state’s capitol and largest city. Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, the AAI and SAE Grantee in the state, introduced the idea to CAPDD management in late summer, following the model of St. Clair County, Illinois.

USDOL state Office of Apprenticeship Director Lee Price signed the agreement with CAPDD Executive Director Rodney Larsen Thursday, Nov. 15, as part of a National Apprenticeship Week event titled “Employers Growing Talent through Apprenticeship,” hosted by Arkansas DWS. Initially, CAPDD will sponsor programs in industrial painting, plumbing, electrician and commercial driver’s license (CDL) with the flexibility to add more occupations over time.

The second program formalized a new registered apprenticeship at First Orion for software developers of mobile telecom applications. Apprentices will start at a competitive salary and still receive a wage bump at the end of the one-year program, during which they’ll get classroom instruction in Orion’s specific job tasks and hands-on mentoring from experienced programmers.

Source: www.dol.gov/apprenticeship

(L-R) Josh Rogers and Rodney Larsen of the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District, and USDOL OA State Director Lee Price (right) sign paperwork on Nov. 15 making the Central Area the first LWDA registered apprenticeship sponsor in Arkansas.

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