CareerSource Research Coast can help
your employment needs by crafting
18-month, industry-certified programs
that combine on-the-job paid training with
related classroom instruction through our
local training providers, which include Indian
River State College and its Corporate
and Community Training Institute. Successful
graduates of these programs can gain
industry certification that broadens their
marketability and their paychecks.
Currently, CareerSource Research Coast
has Certified Production Technician and
Certified Logistics Technician programs
(for the warehousing and distribution
industry) that could benefit your company.
CareerSource Research Coast is currently
assessing demand for apprenticeship
programs in other high-demand fields,
including IT and insurance agent training.
An apprenticeship program has many
benefits, whatever your point of view:
For employers: Enhance the stability of
your workforce, especially for hard-to-fill
positions or trades. You’ll have the ability
to train a new generation of skilled workers.
That allows you and your employees
to plan for the future. After a small outlay,
you may be eligible for reimbursement
designed to offset the employer’s cost for
providing job training.
An apprenticeship program allows
• To customize the hiring process
• To attract teachable talent
• To hand-pick promising candidates
• To train according to specific needs
• To save on recruiting costs
For employees: You can learn a new
skill and industry certification while earning
a salary. This paid training comes with
increased earning potential over the lifetime
of your career and no backbreaking
student debt once you’ve completed your
training. Apprentices who complete their
program earn approximately $300,000
more over their career than non-apprenticeship
For parents: Apprentices earn while
they learn. A national survey by the U.S.
Department of Labor found that those
who completed an apprenticeship program
could expect to earn an average
$60,000 starting wage.
Currently, eight manufacturing companies
across the Treasure Coast are engaged
in an IMT registered apprenticeship program
with 24 participating apprentices.
Almost without exception those manufacturers
are enthusiastic about the programs
and the rewards they see in them.
Here’s what some of them have to say
about the value of apprenticeship programs.
Shane Mullan, vice president of
operations, Aluma Tower Company,
Aluma produces specialized communications
equipment for military and
government applications to handle emergency
communications, surveillance and
Mullan said his company is the first in Indian
River County to set up manufacturing
apprenticeship programs. He is a strong
proponent of the idea and has a personal
stake in training apprentices. He was a
high school dropout who later earned his
GED. He began work with Aluma 13 years
ago as a welder, working his way up to his
“Would I (take on more apprentices)?
Absolutely. Our employee is working out
really well. He has a lot of energy and has
taken on learning welding during his lunch
breaks. He’s adapted well to fabrication. I’m
looking forward to the next round (of apprenticeship
opportunities). We are doing
a lot of hiring and have found some good
talent, but the labor pool in Vero Beach
is not big enough for our needs. We have
some people traveling from Port St. Lucie.”
Jim Brann, owner, The Porch
Factory, Fort Pierce
This manufacturer of screen and pool
enclosures, sun rooms and entryways employs
33 people. Over the last two years, the
Porch Factory has hired three apprentices.
“All are doing well and producing for us.
For us it’s a win-win. Yes, we paid $700 per
apprentice, but their wages are paid back
to us (up to about $6,500). So, there’s no
money (outlay) for us. It’s a continual problem
getting qualified people. We already
had an in-house apprenticeship program
to address that need, but we took advantage
of the CareerSource Research Coast
program so that our employees get not
only on-the-job training but management
and other classroom skills.
“Employers must take training more
seriously; they need to take the longer
view. It’s no longer a money issue (because
of CareerSource Research Coast Florida
grants). I don’t understand why more companies
don’t do it.
“Yes, absolutely, we’d do it again, no
question. We need to continue these
programs to help our workforce now and
in the future.”
Bill Wilcox, co-owner, Phoenix
Metal Products, Inc., Fort Pierce
Phoenix fabricates a range of equipment
for the civilian and military aviation
industries, notably passenger stairs (used
on Air Force One by the last three U.S.
presidents), lavatory and other service
trucks and carts for airline servicing for
rapid turnarounds on the tarmac.
Phoenix currently employs two apprentices,
“Are we happy? Yes, and they seem
happy, too. The results seem really good.
One of them attended a high school with
some certification training; the other came
here with no experience. But both are doing
some beautiful welding. I want people
who have initiative, who want to learn.
Some of them these days can’t even read a
“We employ specialized welders, machine
operators and assembly mechanics. >>
Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship
program apprentice Bobby
Arnold with The Porch Factory
in Fort Pierce.
THE PORCH FACTORY