A June 15, 2017, U.S. Presidential executive order created an initiative to expand apprenticeships in America.
"The new administration has relaxed the rulings" for apprenticeship programs, Sholtis said.
The president's task force on apprenticeship expansion is gathering relevant insights from business, labor, educational and government leaders. In November, nearly 1,000 events observed National Apprenticeship Week, highlighting ways to close the skills gap in the U.S.
For its purposes, PMT promoted its plans for the mechatronics apprenticeship both internally and externally in the El Paso community.
Mariana Diaz, PMT human resources associate, provided an overview during on-site school tours of the plant, and she talked one-on-one with many students.
PMT uses a variety of educational resources for employee training. These include the online Tooling-U learning solutions from Cleveland-based SME-affiliate Tooling University LLC and classes at the five-campus public El Paso Community College and the two-campus, family-owned Western Technical College trade school in El Paso.
Over two years, an apprentice can expect to take courses in machine tooling, welding, robotics, electronics, electro-hydraulics, mechanical drives, programmable logic controllers, material science, blueprint/schematic reading and mathematics through plane trigonometry.
Across the country, apprenticeship programs are growing. The Department of Labor said the U.S. had more than 22,000 federally registered apprenticeship programs with more than 530,000 participants in fiscal 2017.
Injection molder Intertech Plastics Inc. of Denver, for example, provided the impetus for a grant-supported Colorado initiative to create apprenticeship programs in the state's high schools.
Germany-based power equipment maker Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG transferred extensive apprenticeship expertise to its Virginia Beach, Va., facility, which occupies 1 million square feet.
A broadly based group of businesses support Arkansas's Be Pro Be Proud program conveying the state's need for skilled workers to students and offering them opportunities to experience the relevant disciplines.
And the Texas Workforce Commission encourages and can provide funding for related classroom instruction for adults in registered apprenticeship training programs. PMT is pursuing this option.