FKCC will offer its first apprenticeship training programs this upcoming fall semester, beginning with the electrical and carpentry trades. The new endeavor partners the College with the local construction industry to train workers in high-demand construction careers in the Florida Keys. The Florida Department of Education’s Division of Career and Adult Education granted approval of the new programs in June. Additional work is already underway to expand apprenticeship offerings to the fields of plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) in January 2019.
FKCC’s apprenticeships provide education and training in all aspects of the respective trades—from conceptual to practical skills. Students are employed full-time with an FKCC-approved apprenticeship sponsor. They attend classes, which are tuition-free, at FKCC’s Key West Campus while also completing on-the-job training under the direct supervision and instruction of experienced professionals. As apprentice students advance through the program, their progress is rewarded with periodic wage increases.
Upon successful program completion, an apprentice will be considered a “journey worker” and will receive a four-level certification by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) as well as a nationally-recognized Completion of Apprenticeship certificate by the State of Florida.
“We’ve had a housing challenge in the Keys for years, and Hurricane Irma escalated the crisis. We have a desperate need for skilled carpenters, electricians and more to help us repair and rebuild our community,” said Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, who was an early advocate for the development of the apprenticeship programs. “I’m very excited about working with the College on this initiative, which will not only help with our housing issues, but can provide local folks a skill and a reliable career.”
The College collaborated with local businesses, Check Electric, LLC and Wayne Garcia Building Contractor, Inc., to create the electrical and carpentry apprenticeships. They will be the College’s first partner organizations to sponsor apprentices through the program. The opportunity to participate in electrical or carpentry apprenticeships is open to all Keys businesses. Partner organizations agree to sponsor employees at the rate of $600 per year and to provide specified hours of supervised field training. Partner organizations can sponsor current employees or they can consider hiring students who have applied to an apprenticeship program.
For more information about participating in one of the new apprenticeships, as either a student or an employer, please contact Megan Perez, Coordinator Community Education, Workforce & Testing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-809-3185, or visit www.fkcc.edu/apprenticeships.