Crowder College is located in extreme southwest Missouri and has focused on identifying opportunities in the region using community and workforce data. In 2015, the college became aware of the need to enter the apprenticeship arena through their participation in a workforce development conference hosted by the American Association of Community Colleges. The Crowder College board was very interested and supportive in pursing the opportunity to engage its business and community partners, which they saw could happen through registered apprenticeships. Tools such as Emsi Analyst have been valuable in identifying potential areas for development of apprenticeships.
Branco Enterprises, Inc., a local construction company, was at the forefront of Crowder’s efforts to become a member of the U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC). In 2017, Crowder became a registered Department of Labor sponsor. Crowder College currently has three thriving hybrid apprenticeship programs: (1) construction (Branco is the DOL approved sponsor with Crowder the training provider) for Journeyman Carpenters since 2015; (2) electrical with Bill’s Electric, Inc. for Journeyman Electricians since 2017; and (3) truck driver with Certified Express, Inc. for truck drivers since 2018.
Building on the concept of employer engagement has allowed their apprenticeship programs to be successful and continue to grow.
Employer partners have shared the need for finding skilled workers to grow the future of their company with the board. Together, the college and employers are building the talent pipeline of highly skilled employees with industry-recognized credentials. Each apprenticeship program creates a career pathway for the apprentices while the employer invests in home-grown talent that keeps pace with the latest industry advances.