Build a skilled workforce with a registered apprenticeship program ... more
The owners of R.D. Graham Electric in Greensboro had a vision to address the challenges they faced in finding and hiring qualified workers. Their solution: Invest in a 7,000 square foot training facility and create an apprenticeship program to develop their own talent pipeline.
There are currently 14 apprentices enrolled in the program, which was approved in October of 2019. The apprentices were selected from the pool of existing employees, clearly demonstrating the company’s commitment to training and investing in its workforce. “We want our employees to know they are valued, first and foremost,” says Ben Thomas, Training Program Manager at R.D. Graham. “We believe investing in our team members builds loyalty, makes them feel appreciated, and leads to a better, happier employee. It saves the company money in the long-run.”
The four-year program includes 640 classroom hours (160 per year), as well as on-the-job learning and mentoring. The next class of eight apprentices will begin their program in August of 2021. Thomas is also working through the local high school CTE programs to recruit future participants. In addition to paying the apprentices for their classroom time, the company also helps with tools and uniforms, making this a great opportunity to be trained in a high-demand industry with excellent earning potential.
“I encourage other businesses not to look at an apprenticeship program from the point of paying up front,” adds Thomas. “Consider it an investment you will get back. I’m happy to share our story with anyone considering apprenticeship!”