RADD Training is in the business of apprenticeships. 

We are about expanding quality Registered Apprenticeship Programs and Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs

We are about celebrating employers and intermediaries that invest resources into apprenticeship opportunities.

We are about patting the backs of apprentices for jobs well done. After all, balancing on-the-job training with classroom instruction is no easy task.

During the sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week from November 8-14, we await the bright future of apprenticeships in the greater Chicagoland area and in the country. Of equal importance, we reflect on the hard work of our clients and their efforts to grow this tried and true “earn while you learn” workplace training model. Take a look. 

Customizing an Apprenticeship Program

Congratulations to the newest member of the Apprenticeship Club: Returns Management, Inc. of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. RMI’s Industrial Engineering Technician Registered Apprenticeship Program is highly customized to meet their technical and production engineering needs.

When RADD Training first talked to RMI partner Kirk Kimbel at the end of July, he said RMI wanted to find a way to allow their new employees “to explore all of the various areas we have available within our business for contribution and then train them so they can move into positions of greater responsibility.”

Over the course of less than three months, RMI and RADD Training collaborated to build the Industrial Engineer Technician program, carefully crafting on-the-job training to meet the requirements of the Department of Labor’s competency-based approach. 

Additionally, Kirk was committed to the idea of a new employee having the opportunity to pursue a degree to satisfy Related Training Instruction. RADD Training identified three community colleges that offered relevant engineering associate’s degrees; Kirk will give his future employees the choice of the three depending on their interests.

RMI and RADD Training were first introduced by ENJEN, which continues to work with RMI to identify training grants to offset the cost of the apprenticeship program.

Speaking of Funding Apprenticeships … 

Speaking of funding apprenticeships, RADD Training is thankful for the relationships it has built with several funding experts throughout 2020. In addition to ENJEN, RADD Training teams with Lakeview Consulting, Inc. and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership to educate clients about training grants and tax credit opportunities. Learn more about their funding expertise.

Apprenticing an Incumbent Worker 

RADD Training first met AAA Tool and Machine of O’Fallon, Illinois in June, when President Brian Wort sought out guidance to solve his training problem. He had a part-time incumbent worker who was accelerating through his training. This young man already had achieved a two-year tech degree, and needed a “next step” — something AAA Tool and Machine did not feel they had in place. 

The solution: a Tool and Die Maker Registered Apprenticeship Program, which earned official approval from the Department of Labor in early September. Their hybrid model includes between 6,000-8,000 hours of customized on-the-job training as well as 589 hours of related instruction using a combination of courses from a local community college and a manufacturing-specific online provider. 

The wage schedule Brian and his team already had in place motivates their now full-time employee to continue meeting milestones each year throughout the four-year program. Additionally, his mentor is a qualified, card-carrying Tool and Die journeyman. 

Building a Registered Apprenticeship Program helped AAA Tool and Die address training gaps and, of value to Brian, opened a pathway for their employee to earn a transferable DOL credential.

Apprenticeships from a Different Angle

Building Self-Determination and building community is what makes BSD Industries a force to be reckoned with.  Founded by Dr. Byron Brazier and led by Trista Bonds, BSD Industries has committed to supporting students interested in pathways for Drafting Technician, Maintenance Technician and Robotics Technician. By sponsoring these programs they are teaching a solid curriculum that earns students college credit through Daley Colleges of Chicago, and they are partnering with local employers to provide apprentices an opportunity to earn while they learn.

Employers are benefiting by having access to quality candidates that are pre-screened and a program that is recognized by the United States Department of Labor.

Spreading the Good News about Apprenticeships

The Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA) of Schaumburg, Illinois is a partner RADD Training enjoys — and for many reasons. 

First, TMA’s Training and Education division offers their 800-plus members as well as non-members state-of-the-art training facilities. They have apprenticeship tracks for Mold Maker, Tool and Die Maker, and CNC Machining. Their costs are among the most reasonable RADD Training has encountered.

As much as they do already, TMA wants to do more. That is one reason why they teamed up with RADD Training to host an informational webinar over the summer. They wanted to help spread the good news about Registered Apprenticeship Programs and how, as a RAP sponsor, they make the process as easy as possible.  

Among the topics covered in the webinar:

  • What is a Registered Apprenticeship Program?
  • Benefits of RAPs, including return on investment (ROI), improved retention, addressing a skills gap, and more
  • A success story of one TMA member’s partnership with TMA to implement a RAP
  • Funding information

View the complete webinar for free on RADDTraining.com.

Industry-Recognized Apprenticeships Enter the Scene

RADD Training is proud of its client, AED Foundation, for becoming one of the first Standards Recognition Entities in the country this fall. This means AEDF, based in Schaumburg, Illinois, has been granted authority by the Department of Labor to recognize employers as Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs

AEDF’s mission is to address professional education and workforce development in the construction equipment industry. When the DOL introduced IRAPs to the scene earlier this year, AEDF viewed this as another opportunity to serve its members.

Work to complete the SRE application began in March and included a team of a half-dozen AEDF experts as well as RADD Training. When the DOL application went live on May 11, AEDF’s proposal was among the first submitted.

Under the leadership of COO Jason Blake, the work of guiding enthusiastic members through the recognition process began immediately in mid-October, just a couple of weeks after learning the news of their SRE approval. RADD Training continues to be a part of Jason’s team and will assist throughout both the recognition and monitoring process.

National Apprenticeship Week

According to Apprenticeship.gov:

  • The average starting wage after completing an apprenticeship program is $70,000. 
  • Workers who complete apprenticeship programs earn an average of $300,000 more over their career when compared to peers who don’t. 
  • 94% of apprentices retain employment after completing an apprenticeship program.
  • Apprenticeship programs help employers: 
    • Recruit and develop a diverse and highly-skilled workforce that helps grow their business 
    • Improve productivity, profitability, and an employer’s bottom line 
    • Create flexible training options that ensure workers develop the right skills 
    • Receive tax credits and employee tuition benefits in participating states 
    • Increase staff loyalty and retention of workers, during and following the apprenticeship 

Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Happy National Apprenticeship Week!