Economic Development Workforce Development Manager Jake Maxwell offers this latest blog in a series we like to call “Workforce Wednesday” — it’s all about training for the skills and knowledge that our Salt Lake City employers need to grow. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback.

What do you think of when you hear “apprenticeship”? I imagine it’s what most of us think – welders, plumbers, machinists, etc. Unfortunately the listings I will share with you later do not dispel peoples perspective of what they are. However, I believe this will change dramatically in Utah so I will likely keep hammering this point – Apprenticeships will very soon and very likely incorporate most job types out there. Think about the TV reality show, “The Apprentice” and how the “job” was one that does not fit the above description.

The Technology sector in Utah is exploding. Silicon Slopes Executive Director Clint Betts reported “The Silicon Slopes community now accounts for 1 in every 7 new job in the state and over 1/6th of Utah’s overall GDP. With more than 6,500 tech companies calling Silicon Slopes home, our community’s job growth is twice the average compared to other industries in the state. There’s never been more capital, resources, and support for entrepreneurs in Silicon Slopes. There’s never been a better time to build a company in Utah.” This means rapid training within the companies with all the resources available and includes apprenticeships. I am excited to see how this group of entrepreneurs “bootstraps” this endeavor and normalizes apprenticeships for any occupation.

For a very quick description of an apprenticeship and its benefits, this is most often an “earn and learn” opportunity. A student trains both within a business and at a school until certified. Businesses pay prevailing wages and, in some cases, tuition. So, for you parents out there who are encouraging your kids not to become Diesel Mechanics who can easily make over $100,000 a year with no student debt, maybe re-think the ROI of a traditional 4 year degree. The Tech community will likely be no exception. As leaders of investing in employees and growing whatever they need to launch multi-billion dollar companies within a few years, I hope to see a popularization of the apprenticeship model.

To learn more about the difference between Registered apprenticeships, industry recognized apprenticeships, and anything of the like, or to learn where to get started with creating an apprenticeship model as a talent pipeline, please reach out — I’m at or call 385-256-5565.

For a list of local apprenticeship offerings, you can browse the 2 links below: