Ozarks Technical Community College’s Center for Workforce Development and general contractor, Branco Enterprises, Inc., have entered into a partnership to administer and provide instruction for Branco’s Carpentry Apprenticeship Program based in the Springfield, Missouri area. The apprenticeship program provides on-the-job experience and classroom instruction to select employees.
“The job market is tighter than ever. We have trouble finding carpenters with the skills and experience we require,” said Sean Thouvenot, Branco Enterprises vice president. “This training partnership with OTC will allow us to grow our own pool of qualified carpenters, and we know they’ll have the skills and knowledge required to get the work done.”
With OTC as its new training partner, Branco’s apprentices will receive classroom instruction a few hours a week at OTC’s Springfield campus as part of their work week. When they’re not in the classroom, the apprentices work alongside skilled craftsmen on active construction sites. Apprentices’ wages increase as they gain skill and experience, and they graduate the program as journeyman carpenters with a nationally recognized certificate of completion issued by the Department of Labor.
Currently, there are six students in this class of apprentices. Depending on the level of experience they bring to the table, apprentices can expect to spend up to four years in the program.
Branco has provided an apprenticeship program for its employees since 1993; though this is the first time Branco has partnered with OTC’s Center for Workforce Development.
OTC hired long-time Branco employee Allen Hall to teach the apprenticeship classes. Hall, a journeyman carpenter, was among Branco’s inaugural class of apprentices in 1993.