Minnesota Department of Labor Approves Smith Foundry Company’s Participation in Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program
Smith Foundry Company announced it will participate in the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship program, an 18-month long, 3,000 hour program that will build a pipeline of highly qualified and diverse individuals prepared to enter middle- and high-skilled occupations within the manufacturing sector.
Developed by the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, AFL-CIO Working for America Institute,Jobs for the Future, and the U.S. Department of Labor, the IMT Apprenticeship is a “hybrid internship” – it integrates traditional time-based learning and competency-based education, allowing workers to progress at their own pace. The IMT Apprenticeship also helps workers gain needed skills to advance in their careers without quitting work to go back to school.
Smith Foundry is the first foundry in Minnesota to participate in the IMT Apprenticeship.
“We, at the Minnesota Regional Training Partnership, are excited about this new training/apprenticeship initiative which is starting at Smith Foundry, and supported by Teamsters' Local 970,” said Jerome Balsimo, Minnesota Program Coordinator, WRTP/BIG STEP. “By providing the opportunity for workers to participate and gain a journey status as an Industrial Manufacturing Technician, both the company and union have taken a giant step forward to meet the high skills needed to succeed in today's highly competitive foundry marketplace.”
The program will be made available to all Smith Foundry Company employees, and it will complement an internal training program which is focused on a wide variety of skills associated with Metalcasting. The end result will be workers who are trained both generally in sound manufacturing practices, and specifically in their Metalcasting trade. The apprentices are full-time employees and will earn regular wages while they complete their training.
“We are very excited to be able to to offer the IMT Apprenticeship to our employees, because they deserve every opportunity to see success, not just at Smith Foundry Company, but throughout their careers,” said Nathan CW Smith, President and Chief Operating Officer of Smith Foundry Company. “The IMT Apprenticeship is an exceptional opportunity for them, for their families, for Minnesota’s manufacturing industry, and for our community here in Minneapolis.”
In addition to Minnesota, the IMT Apprenticeship has been implemented in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois.