The recent push to prioritize the expansion of registered apprenticeships nationwide has become an issue that crosses party lines.
In Idaho, the business community faces a skilled labor gap that is impacting the state's economic outlook. Janice McGeachin, a candidate for the state's Lieutenant Governorship in the 2018 election, has emphasized the importance of creating an apprenticeship model in the state that could foster the closing of this gap.
In an op-ed for the Idaho State-Journal, McGeachin called the need for a registered apprenticeship program in Idaho a no-brainer.
"A registered Apprenticeship program is a proven method of career training built around a strong partnership between the business community and our educational institutions," she wrote. "This partnership encourages education, economic development, and workforce development."
And the system that she speaks of is one that is currently in place, in some regard, in other states, and at the national level.
For example, if McGeachin is elected to the office she seeks, she can look to states like Colorado. In Colorado, the state has a regulatory framework for apprenticeship programs that are influenced by the models used in countries like Switzerland.
This model places on-the-job training and job-related education at the center of these learning programs. Plus, the insight of the private sector is sought when in planning and administering such programs.
Notably, this type of approach is well regarded and has given high returns on investment for companies who train future employees in this manner.
One of McGeachin's other focuses highlighted that the states also need to coordinate with the federal government in finding the best possible solution for a skilled labor training program.
What do you think about McGeachin's approach? Would you vote for her?
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