b'business involvement, structured on-the-job training, relatedan academic award of credit (degree, diploma, or technical classroom instruction, wage progression for skill obtainment,certificate) from their institution. and nationally-recognized credentials.Having industry credentials is a big deal, says Free-Ollard. It A DOL registered apprenticeship must have a sponsor that isproves that within their career path, they have mastered the responsible for the overall operation of the program. Sponsorsrequired technical skills for their industry. I would encourage any can be a single business, a consortium of companies, or a rangeemployer interested in developing an apprenticeship program to of workforce representatives, including industry associations,contact their local technical college to get started.joint labor-management organizations, or post-secondary institutions.Michael Williams, dean of Academic Affairs with Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, says apprenticeship programs are With a mission to prepare a skilled workforce, all 22 Technicalbecoming popular throughout South Georgia. College System of Georgia (TCSG) institutions are members of the DOL Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium and canAt Wiregrass, we work with businesses that are in dire need serve as sponsors for registered apprenticeship programs.of hiring workers with specific skills including diesel truck maintenance, welding, and industrial systems, says Williams. Registered apprenticeships have taken a big leap in Georgia,There are benchmarks for learning new skills and a set wage says Holly Free-Ollard, apprenticeship manager for TCSGs Officeprogression. Apprenticeships are not just a little work experience of Workforce Development. TCSG is working with companiesand a paycheck, they are building a longtime career. Registered apprenticeships have taken a big leap in Georgia. TCSG is working with companies to build a highly-skilled and reliable workforce.- HOLLY FREE-OLLARDto build a highly-skilled and reliable workforce. There have been many retirements in the workforce along with solid economicWiregrass Tech currently has nine programs approved for growth, and apprenticeships allow employers to grow theirapprenticeship placement: accounting, automotive technology, incumbent workforce while developing new talent. CNC specialist, computer information systems, diesel truck maintenance, industrial system technology, precision machining Registered apprenticeships are part of a national model thatand manufacturing, telecommunications, and welding and joining enables employers to customize training that meets industrytechnology.standards. Connecting students with apprenticeship opportunities is Having industry-recognized credentials is very important to aa primary focus for Bill Tillman, Wiregrass Techs director of trade worker, says Free-Ollard. The credential belongs to theEconomic Development and Cook Campus.employee and helps them advance in their occupation. It also shows that they have not only acquired training within theirOur initial conversations are very positive with local employers, company, but have also met industry standards. says Tillman. We review the required work process, wage progression, and ask them to complete an Employer Acceptance TCSG students that graduate as apprentices earn both theAgreement to participate in the apprenticeship program.industry-recognized credentials, as certified by the DOL, and 36 SG MAGAZINE| FALL 2019 BUSINESS + CULTURE37'