FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 21, 2017) – Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey joined officials from American Metal Works and Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Paintsville to announce the creation of a new apprenticeship program.
The first of its kind in the region, this CNC Programming apprenticeship will enable area apprentices to begin a 4-year Computer Numerical Control (CNC) program at American Metal Works that will require 2,000 on-the-job training hours and 144 classroom hours per year.
“With nearly 1,100 companies a part of our ‘Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built’ apprenticeship program across the state, this partnership is critically important because of its relationship with eastern Kentucky,” said Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey. “Today’s announcement represents how community leaders are taking note by coming together to benefit and prepare our Kentucky workers for today’s economy. I commend American Metal Works and Big Sandy Community and Technical College for embracing the overwhelming impact that apprenticeships provide toward local workforce development and I look forward to the success that this initiative will bring to the region.”
American Metal Works was started in 2016 by James Glass and Dennis Rohrer and is a small business manufacturer of parts for the aerospace, automotive, biomedical, defense, and manufacturing industries.
“The apprenticeship program will help provide our team members with the skills and training necessary for them to succeed in this highly technical and growing industry,” said Glass. “Their continued personal growth will allow American Metal Works to become more viable and allow us to provide opportunities for others looking to obtain a career in this ever-growing industry. By developing a strong workforce through the program, Kentucky will become more competitive and better positioned on the world stage.”
“As we try to fill the gap of skilled workers that have been lost to off shoring over the last several decades along with the large numbers of advanced manufacturing workers who are now approaching retirement age, these apprenticeships will be vital to the health and well-being of American Metal Works and the industry at large,” Rohrer stated. “This program will allow us to recruit and train men and women of various ages and skill levels.”
Launched in September of last year, the “Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built” initiative signals Kentucky’s recommitment of new energy and resources toward strengthening apprenticeships across Kentucky. The Labor Cabinet works with each company to craft a customized curriculum that is specific to each employer’s needs. At the completion of the training program, the apprentice receives a nationally recognized certification. The alliance between American Metal Works and Big Sandy Community and Technical College began last year when Big Sandy CTC offered to allow American Metal Works to lease a facility. Since then, this strategic partnership has grown to include instructors from Big Sandy CTC who are working with American Metal Works to better align coursework in today’s CNC industry.
“The American Metal Works project at Big Sandy Community and Technical College demonstrates the power of partnerships across eastern Kentucky,” said Big Sandy CTC Director of Workforce Solutions Kelli Hall Chaney. “So many partners embraced the idea of American Metal Works and worked together to make this dream a reality. If we aspire to do innovative things, we must work collaboratively to leverage the resources of our vast network of community and economic development organizations to bring opportunity to all those who seek it. Big Sandy Community and Technical College strives be the catalyst that brings lasting transformation to the region.”
State Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard) and State Rep. William Wells (R-West Liberty) also offered praise.
“I am thrilled to hear of the new apprenticeship program with American Metal Works, a company that encapsulates the ingenuity and strength of our Appalachian communities,” Sen. Smith said. “Innovative companies such as American Metal Works are the future of our region, and I look forward to the success of both the apprenticeship program and its graduates.”
“Education and workforce go hand-in-hand, and apprenticeships are one of the best ways to create and grow a workforce that will last for generations,” said Rep. Wells. “American Metal Works is blazing new trails for our entire region with this new apprenticeship, and I’m excited for the impact it will have on the young people in our communities. I look forward to the success it will reap as we work to ensure our workforce is educated to meet the needs of industry, and congratulations to everybody involved in securing this important development in Paintsville.”
For more information on Registered Apprenticeships, visit www.KentuckyApprenticeship.com.