Apprenticeships Work

For well over 100 years, apprenticeship training has been the oldest and most traditional method of on-the-job training in many of the industries where the IAM represents the workers in the United States and Canada.

Recently, representatives from industrial labor unions, manufacturing employers, state labor federations, state and federal labor agencies, education and workforce and development advocacy groups met in Oakwood, Pennsylvania to discuss state and national efforts to bolster apprenticeship programs. 

The event was co-hosted by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, and the Ohio AFL-CIO and the leaders of these organizations were on hand to highlight how apprenticeship programs are essential to their industrial states’ economic success.

Members from IAM participating included Jim Reid (Director, IAM’s Safety and Health Department), Jesse Cote, Jr. (Business Manager and Organizing Director, District 751) Ed Kuss (IAM Grand Lodge Representative), Dean Wright (President & Directing Business Representative, IAM District 54), Jack Baker (Business Representative, IAM District 54), Jon Fowkes (Coordinator of Apprenticeship Programs, IAM District 190), and Rhandi Berth (Vice President and Director of Industrial Initiatives, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership and first female Vice President of former IAM Local 1430).

“The IAM values our apprenticeship programs throughout the United States and Canada, said IAM International President Bob Martinez. “These programs provide excellent opportunities for working people to live a better life, said Martinez. “It is our hope that more employers see the advantages that apprenticeship programs bring to the workforce. The IAM stands ready to rebuild North America’s workforce.”


“IAM always welcomes the opportunity to discuss the advantages of apprenticeships and the role we play in increasing training opportunities across the country, said IAM Safety and Health Director Jim Reid. Employers are beginning to step up to the plate because they see the need and the graying of our workforce.  The meeting satisfied a crucial need, to discuss apprenticeships, and I look forward to contributing to additional meetings in the future. The IAM has over 65 registered training programs throughout the U.S.  We encourage our members to contact our office, if they are interested in developing an apprenticeship program.” Click HERE to find out more information on IAM apprenticeship programs.


“There is a distinct difference between a job training program and an apprenticeship,” said Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale.  “Apprenticeships are comprehensive experiences, where individuals not only learn a skill, they practice and develop that skill in conjunction with the needs of the business community, while earning a fair, living wage.”

“Embracing and developing these training programs will modernize systems and procedures to improve productivity and safety,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga.  “Workers and employers alike have everything to gain from robust and well-run apprenticeship programs.”

“It is my hope that these registered apprenticeship opportunities work to attract young people to the skilled trades industry,” said Kathy Manderino, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. 

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