“Promoting and increasing access to apprenticeship opportunities and trades education empowers Montanans and ensures employers have a highly-skilled workforce,” said Governor Greg Gianforte as he highlight apprenticeship opportunities in Montana.

He made his statements while visiting with Dick Anderson Construction apprentices in Helena and at the Highlands College pre-apprenticeship program in Butte. He thanked Montana employers and educators for the important role they play in supporting apprenticeship opportunities and trades education. “We thank them for their investment,” he said.

The governor declared the week of May 5-11 as Youth Apprenticeship Week in Montana to emphasize the advantages of apprenticeships in enabling Montana workers and ensuring employers have access to a workforce with in-demand skills.

Since 2020, Montana’s Registered Apprenticeship Program, administered by the Department of Labor & Industry (DLI), has seen a 20 percent increase in active apprenticeship enrollment in over 100 different fields where workers receive paid, supervised, on-the-job training.

Dick Anderson Construction is one of more than 600 businesses that have partnered with the program that employ more than 3,000 apprentices statewide.

Highlighting apprenticeship opportunities within the company, the governor visited a Dick Anderson worksite in Helena to hear from apprentices on the impact of the program.

“When I came on the job, I knew nothing about construction. It’s been great to get a textbook instruction through first-hand experiences,” said Quinn, a Dick Anderson employee and former apprentice.

Dick Anderson’s Education Coordinator, Bill Ryan, added, “When our apprentices finish the four-year program, they gain a certificate of completion from DLI to be a carpenter and they have a job with us waiting for them.”

In 2022, Montana added more apprenticeships to the Registered Apprenticeship Program than ever before. Many of these were added following a rule change supported by the governor that went into effect that year.

While maintaining workplace safety and training standards, the revised rule changed the journeyman-to-apprentice ratio from 2:1 to 1:2. Now, one journeyman can supervise two apprentices.

And, to improve the skills of hardworking Montanans and address employers’ needs, the governor proposed and implemented the Montana Trades Education Credit (MTEC) in 2021. This credit offers employers credit for employee education and training, and it has nearly doubled MTEC in 2023.

Rounding out the day in Butte, the governor visited the Highlands College pre-apprenticeship line program to learn more about the opportunities available to students interested in becoming a line worker.

The one-semester, pre-apprentice line certificate program prepares students for groundman and apprentice positions within the line trade. Upon completion of the course, students also are provided the pathway to obtain a Class A Commercial Driver’s License before entering the workforce.

Partnering with local employers, the program helps to connect students to jobs in the construction and utilities industry after graduation.

Visiting with students in the program and watching a demonstration, the governor learned more about the course that instructs on how to assist with the installation, construction, maintenance, and repair of electrical power line systems.


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