Kirkwood Community College (KCC) invested in the Apprenticeship Training program model as an additional delivery format that provides participants with earn-and-learn access to post-secondary education. To further the growth of apprenticeship programs in the KCC service district, the college invested in a full-time position to implement and expanded apprenticeship programs at the college. The workforce initiatives project manager position is responsible for outreach and education to businesses about the value of registered apprenticeship programs and explains the support provided by the college to employers as they implement an apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program development strategy and the investment in personnel has supported expansion of existing apprenticeship programs with new employers and has supported several new apprenticeship programs in health care, manufacturing, and construction.
Kirkwood also has developed college-sponsored apprenticeship programs. For these programs, Kirkwood recruit’s student applications and provides the applicants to participating employers to build the employer’s applicant pipeline of future employees. Additionally, the position serves as the liaison to college deans and faculty to help build partnerships and new programs. Information is provided on the benefits and structure of apprenticeship programs, and connections are made with employers desiring apprenticeship training to the appropriate academic departments at the college which can provide the related training instruction while also offering a pathway into a post-secondary credential.
Kirkwood’s apprenticeship program is strategically placed in the Corporate Training department of the Continuing Education division. This allows for close collaboration with corporate training outreach staff that have deep relationships with the region’s employers which help identify and meet their workforce needs and provides the links for employers to develop and meet additional training needs for future apprentices.