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Apprenticeship program aims to boost construction workforce

January 22nd, 2018

By Alex Brown | Inside INdiana Business

Indianapolis-based Jack Laurie Group has announced a program aimed at addressing the workforce shortage in the construction industry. The merit shop floor covering apprenticeship program, which the company says is the first of its kind in the country, will allow participants to earn a certification as a trade journeyman.

The program was developed in partnership with Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., and features a four-year curriculum in floor covering installation. Participants will receive on-the-job training with a minimum rate of pay. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has offered a grant that will also give participants the opportunity to earn an associate's degree from Vincennes University at no charge.

The program includes classroom, lab and field training and is tuition-free.  

"This is a huge opportunity for the entire construction industry and the men and women who strive to make it their profession, and we are optimistic about the impact the program will have on the local economy,” said Tom Postell, vice president of operations for JLG and chief architect of the program. "I feel responsible for finding, developing and supporting the next generation of construction tradespeople here at Jack Laurie Group and in our communities. Ultimately, the success of our company depends upon it."

The U.S. Department of Labor has certified the program as an official apprenticeship. The company says it is the first time the department has approved an apprenticeship program in Indiana that was created by a private employer.

A representative of Jack Laurie Group on Monday confirmed that the apprenticeship program will be offered in Fort Wayne.