Minnesota labor officials, dealer celebrate apprenticeship

Representatives from Apprenticeship Minnesota at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recently helped a suburban Twin Cities dealer design a new outboard motor technician program that will train six new engine apprentices.

The new program for outboard technicians at Bloomington-based Dan’s Southside Marine was announced March 23 prior to the start of the Progressive Insurance Northwest Sportshow, at the end of a career day session inside Fred’s Shed, the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s interactive educational experience.

“There is such a great opportunity to expand the apprenticeship model in this industry,” said John Aiken, Minnesota Department of Labor Standards & Apprenticeship director.

Dan’s Southside Marine’s apprenticeship program was developed as part of the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) to expand registered apprenticeship as a workforce development tool.

“We are growing, looking for people to recruit, train and retain, said Steve Chesky, Dan’s Southside Marine vice president.

The MAI is a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. It is funded through a $5 million grant through the U.S. Department of Labor.

So far, 26 new MAI programs have begun at businesses across Minnesota, with more than 200 new apprentices.

The goal of MAI is to help more than 100 employers develop apprenticeship programs to recruit, train and retrain 1,000 new apprentices in the industries of advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, information technology and transportation.

Apprenticeship Minnesota helps employers develop and register apprenticeship programs and promote workforce diversity through outreach and education.

Minnesota’s apprenticeship program allows employers to design their own apprenticeship program that provides apprentices with specific skills, training and job-related instruction tailored to the company’s needs.

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