State Fair Community College recently obtained a $159,000 Missouri Registered Apprenticeship grant, which the college will use to offer apprenticeship programs in Industrial Electrical Maintenance and Precision Machining beginning in August.

SFCC says more programs may be added later, but for now the grant funds will cover the cost of implementing and coordinating the program.

People in apprenticeship programs have access to classroom and lab experiences with SFCC faculty, while working with a dedicated workplace mentor. The college says the employer hires the apprentice, pays wages and benefits, and pays for their education. Participants who complete the program earn nationally recognized credentials that certifies occupational proficiency and is transferable.

SFCC’s registered apprenticeship program is described as a way to offer employers a low-risk hiring plan that builds employee loyalty and allows for the transfer of job knowledge from experienced, retiring employees to new co-workers.

The United States Department of Labor reports that employers using an apprenticeship program achieve higher productivity and employee retention, along with a substantial return on investment.

Area residents who would like to become apprentices and employers who would like to work with SFCC to offer apprenticeships, can visit sfccmo.edu/apprenticeships or call 660-596-7135.

Randy Kirby