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Apprenticeships can help with job recruitment, Lake Region State College says

According to a news release, the college has partnered with several employers in the region that need skilled workers in areas such as information technology, nursing and more. The school is set to roll out more additions to the program later this year.

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Michael Roue receives on-the-job-training through Lake Region State College's apprenticeship program. (submitted photo)

Lake Region State College in Devils Lake has added more options to its new “Earn and Learn” apprenticeship program, options that administrators there say benefit both students and employers.

According to a news release, the college has partnered with several employers in the region that need skilled workers in areas such as information technology, nursing and more. The school is set to roll out more additions to the program later this year.

“Taking a work experience model and allowing students to earn their degrees while working, instead of entering the workforce with the needed degree already in hand, can alleviate the pressures created with a smaller workforce,” said LRSC President Doug Darling.

School administrators are touting the program as a way for students to earn income while studying. The apprenticeship program at LRSC is a way for employers to directly interact with a school, to help meet workforce needs.

The new apprenticeship program for IT was funded by a Bush Innovation grant, the purpose of which is to foster programs that let students work in the IT field. LRSC partnered with Grand Forks-based Core Technology Services, the IT arm for the North Dakota University System, for the program, which allows an employer to sponsor a student.

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Michael Roue is one student in the program. When he enrolled at LRSC, he was interested in working in IT, but was not sure about his long-term plans. When an instructor informed him of the apprenticeship program, he enrolled.

“The work experience is a big benefit,” Roue stated in the release. “I’m working toward an associate degree in cyber security support technician, but gaining experience through my work-based learning at CTS.”

Other IT apprenticeships at LRSC include, Network Support Technician and Helpdesk Technician that result in associate degrees in IT. Other apprenticeships also result in academic certificates or similar degrees. They include Electronics Technician/Simulation and Electromechanical Technician/Technical Studies.

LRSC has also developed apprenticeships in nursing and began the first Licensed Practical Nursing apprenticeship this fall. Other careers in information technology and healthcare will be following later 2021.

According to the release LRSC has also partnered with Northrup Grumman and Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd, for the apprenticeship programs. The college has ongoing conversations with other employers who are having difficulties filling their workforce needs with current methods of recruitment.

According to Melana Howe, who oversees the apprenticeship program at LRSC, similar programs have increased in the U.S. by 73%, between 2009 and 2019. She is looking forward to continuing to expand LRSC’s apprenticeship program.

“While the current programs at LRSC are only the beginning for North Dakota, an apprenticeship program can be developed for most any career,” Howe said.

Employers seeking more information about apprenticeship at LRSC can contact Howe at Melana.Howe@LRSC.edu, or by calling (701) 567-4127.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at akurtz@gfherald.com, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

Desk: 701-780-1110
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