Berlin, N.H. (December 12, 2022) – Steel fabrication is an essential part of construction and of maintaining the integrity of New Hampshire’s infrastructure. To keep this industry’s talent pipeline filled, ApprenticeshipNH – a workforce program of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) – and White Mountains Community College (WMCC) have partnered with one of New England’s top steel construction firms, Capone Iron Corporation North Woods in Berlin, to create welder/fitter pathways for adults and youth. The Welder/Fitter Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs use ApprenticeshipNH’s “earn while you learn” model to prepare the next generation of welders/fitters to enhance the regional infrastructure including its buildings and bridges.
“We are so happy to be partnering with Capone Iron Corporation North Woods as they are already committed to education through relationships with White Mountains Community College and the area’s local high schools,” said Anne Banks, CCSNH Apprenticeship Programs Manager. “This program offers both adults and youth a well-supported pathway into an occupation that supports the regions infrastructure. This is a great opportunity for apprentices to receive paid tuition, develop new skills, earn a respectable wage and start a new career all while supporting workforce development with local talent.”
Offering Advanced Welding Technology and Pipeline Welding certificates, WMCC is well positioned to provide the 467 hours of related instruction that is part of the three-year Welder/Fitter Registered Apprenticeship program. The program also includes 6,700 hours of on-the-job training at Capone Iron where apprentices will learn welding and cutting skills while working under the supervision of a mentor. This model of work alongside related education has proven to be a sound strategy for filling high-need jobs while enabling participants to build skills and advance in careers.
High school students, at least 17 years old, interested in exploring the profession can utilize the Pre-Apprenticeship pathway towards paid and unpaid internship opportunities that provide high school credit. Students who continue to the Registered Apprenticeship program can utilize paid internship hours toward on-the-job training.
“We are always looking for highly skilled employees to stay right here in the North Country and this partnership with ApprenticeshipNH and WMCC is an important recruitment tool to help us build a pipeline of interested individuals to fill essential, growth-oriented positions,” said Lucie Kinney, compliance coordinator and safety liaison at Capone Iron Corporation. “We are committed to employee training and building this Registered Apprenticeship program brings us to an even higher standard.”
The Welder/Fitter program is open to incumbent employees in other occupations looking to upskill along with other youth and adult job seekers.
As a Registered Apprenticeship program with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Office of Apprenticeship, Capone Iron Corporate apprentices participate in an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway 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 as a workforce initiative of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) 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 advanced manufacturing, automotive technology, biomedical technology, business and finance construction and infrastructure, healthcare, hospitality and information technology. ApprenticeshipNH assists companies with recruiting, screening and hiring potential apprentices, as well as accessing resources in the state that help to fund apprentice training and education. Visit ApprenticeshipNH.com for more information.
Photo: White Mountains Regional High School welding student uses a stud gun while on a visit to Capone Iron Corporation to learn about ApprenticeshipNH’s Welder/Fitter Registered Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship programs. (Photo courtesy of Capone Iron Corporation)