“These skilled trades are really needed to be able to meet that demand of homes and apartments.”
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors last month approved $12 million to expand its apprenticeship program.
The program helped nearly 350 people find apprenticeships in fiscal year 2022 and is expected to help 3,000 people find apprenticeships through 2026. Those accepted into the program will receive training to work in industries including construction, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing.
“[The funding] is going to support individuals and families, to have a viable career pathway, that is self-supporting for families,” Jacqueline Edwards, director of the Maricopa County Human Services Department, told The Copper Courier. “And it really supports those local industry drivers in our in-demand positions and jobs, so that our economy can continue to thrive, and our employers can have the necessary pipeline of trained professionals that they need to be successful.”
The department, in partnership with the Maricopa County Workforce Development Board, has had a 95% success rate for placing apprentices in jobs.
“What happens is that a person is able to learn the skill or the trade, as well as be able to get paid while they’re doing it,” Edwards said. “It’s a long-term training program.”
The $12 million investment comes from the $435 million allocated to the county from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The money not only funds the apprenticeship but also covers additional costs, including uniforms, tools, books, and other materials.
Edwards said programs like these help make sure there are enough skilled workers to carry out the needs of the county.
“Housing is such a critical need and it is really a major industry for our local economy,” she said. “These skilled trades are really needed to be able to meet that demand of homes and apartments.”
Residents interested can learn more by visiting a Maricopa County career center or by visiting the county’s online client portal.