Concord, N.H. (July 25, 2023) – As the demand for skilled and trained carpenters grows, ApprenticeshipNH, a workforce program of the Community College System of New Hampshire, and Associated Builders and Contractors of New Hampshire and Vermont (ABC NH/VT) are celebrating a milestone within the Carpentry Registered Apprenticeship program. With the “earn while you learn” model, apprentices spend time between classroom learning and on-the-job training. The first cohort of apprentice carpenters has completed the classroom instruction at Manchester Community College and now will focus on the remaining hands-on training toward becoming a carpenter.
“This is a significant investment made by the Associated Builders and Contractors of New Hampshire and Vermont in partnership with Manchester Community College and ApprenticeshipNH,” said Governor Chris Sununu in a congratulatory letter. “This program exemplifies the profound dedication of employers to sponsor the education and professional development of their employees. These employers are making a significant contribution to the growth and development of our skilled workforce. This partnership reflects the important relationship between industry and higher education to solve workforce issues.”
Apprentices are balancing their time working full shifts to gain practical on-the-job-training with spending two evenings per week at MCC to complete 455 hours of classroom instruction, all while earning pay and being mentored by key personnel at North Branch Construction and LaMontagne Builders. During the program, apprentices spend time learning truss work, framing and mill work.
“This is an important milestone because these are the first open shop carpenters that are going to be journey workers in New Hampshire,” said Anne Banks, CCSNH Apprenticeship Program Manager. “They have reached the halfway mark of their program and are close to becoming skilled carpenters in the field and providing high-demand services in their communities. We are so proud to have partnered with ABC NH/VT to build a first of its kind of apprenticeship program where multiple general contractors have come together to participate in this model.”
The three-year Carpenter Registered Apprenticeship program includes 6,400-hours of practical on-the-job training and 455-hours of classroom learning. Both adults and high school students are participating in launching a career in carpentry while North Branch Construction and LaMontagne Builders are developing a pipeline of qualified carpenters.
“The construction industry is unique and, in a crisis, because we do not have enough workers,” said Joshua Reap, president and CEO of ABC NH/VT. “A lot of the craft workers in their 50’s are retiring at record rates, which leaves the industry with huge workforce gaps. Contractors here in New Hampshire are solutions-based companies and decided to fix the problem by training their own people using an apprenticeship program. We have a great partnership with ApprenticeshipNH and Manchester Community College who are helping solve the problem.”
According to the state’s Economic Labor Market Information Bureau (ELMI), New Hampshire construction companies will be looking to fill more than 3,323 carpenters over the next eight years signaling opportunity for job seekers. Carpenters work with various materials to construct, repair, and install building frameworks and structures.
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Office of Apprenticeship and ApprenticeshipNH collaborate with community partners to create industry-driven, high-quality career pathways where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential. The program is supported by WorkNowNH and Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA).
ApprenticeshipNH was established in 2017 and is funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Labor to assist employers building registered apprenticeships, pre-apprentice and high school programs in high-demand sectors including healthcare, technology, manufacturing, construction, hospitality, transportation/logistics, and education/ childcare. ApprenticeshipNH has a history of assisting New Hampshire employers with Registered Apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and programs with high school students as proven recruitment strategies. Participating employers have experienced increased productivity, boosted employee retention, improved company culture and an ensured knowledge transfer when filling retiring positions with qualified, skilled workers. Visit ApprenticeshipNH.com for more information.
About ABC NH/VT:
Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 22,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 68 Chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. ABC’s membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors. Learn more at abc.org.
Photo caption: CCSNH, ApprenticeshipNH, ABC NH/VT celebrate apprentices for completing the Carpenter Registered Apprenticeship Program. (Photo courtesy of ApprenticeshipNH)