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The Gateway Apprenticeship Enrolls its 100th Apprentice

By Devese “Dee” Ursery
dursery@timestribunenews.com

The Gateway Apprenticeship Hub celebrates the official enrollment of its 100th apprentice into the Apprenticeship Program, a landmark that expresses the mission of expanding registered apprenticeship programs throughout the St. Louis metro area.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Building America grant program financed the Gateway Apprenticeship Hub that was created in 2022. The main goal is to fortify Registered Apprenticeship Programs in the healthcare, bioscience, and education sectors, providing immediate benefits to employers, apprentices, and the wider community. The Gateway Apprenticeship Hub also has the goal of enrolling individuals from underserved communities into sustainable career pathways through apprenticeships, according to a news release.

An apprenticeship is comparable to an internship in that it provides valuable hands-on experience in your chosen career field, according to gatewayapprenticeshiphub.com. However, during a Registered Apprenticeship Program apprentices receive a competitive wage right from day one, a stark contrast to many internships that may offer limited or no compensation.

“Achieving this milestone of 100 registered apprentices through the Gateway Apprenticeship Hub is an exciting accomplishment,” said Philip Lasseigne, Grant Manager for the Gateway Apprenticeship Hub. “Each of these appearances is an individual who has the opportunity to learn on the job and develop valuable skills that will help them further their careers.”

The U.S. Department of Labor funded this program to strengthen, modernize, expand and diversify its RAP to enable more workers to earn while they learn and find reliable pathways to the middle class.

Madison County is one of 13 counties that is enveloped in the Gateway Apprenticeship Hub spanning Illinois and Missouri. Other counties include Bond, Calhoun, Jersey, Randolph, Monroe, Washington, Clinton, and St. Clair Counties in Illinois and St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin Counties and St. Louis City in Missouri.

The Gateway Apprenticeship Hub aims to place 750 individuals into registered apprenticeship programs by 2026, with an emphasis on more than 70 percent of the applicants coming from underserved populations.

“The Gateway Apprenticeship Hub has hit a major milestone in its journey to 750 registered apprentices in the Metro St. Louis Region,” Madeline May Account Executive. “With the help of a workforce development grant from the US Department of Labor, they’ve successfully registered 100 apprentices. This achievement isn’t just a number; it’s a testament to the Hub’s commitment to strengthening the economic workforce of the St. Louis region.”

Of the 104 apprentices currently registered through the Gateway Apprenticeship Hub, 45 are enrolled in K-12 education programs, 32 in healthcare-related fields, 24 in early childhood education programs. There are also three apprentices enrolled in peer support services positions. As of January 2024, more than 94 percent of enrolled apprentices are from underserved communities.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done, and we’re incredibly optimistic that we’ll continue to grow and register hundreds of additional apprentices throughout the life of this grant,” Lasseigne said. “The apprenticeship model provides an incredible opportunity to lift individuals into careers that can support themselves and their loved ones, and we’re excited to continue this work over the next several years.”

Several training providers from across the region, including the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, McKendree University, among others, have utilized the grant’s resources to develop pre- apprenticeship training programs. These pre-apprenticeship programs will allow individuals seeking new job opportunities to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to begin the apprenticeship programs.

The Gateway Apprenticeship Hub was established as a result of a workforce development grant from the US Department of Labor. Their goal is to build a varied and expert pool of applicants for healthcare, bioscience, and education employers throughout the region through RAPs. The Apprenticeship Hub seeks to develop and expand these RAPs for the immediate benefit of employers, employees, and the region. For more information, visit www.gatewayapprenticeshiphub.com, email GatewayAppren.ceshipHub@madisoncountyil.gov or find us on Facebook or LinkedIn.

The Gateway Apprenticeship Hub celebrates the official enrollment of its 100th apprentice into the Apprenticeship Program, a landmark that expresses the mission of expanding registered apprenticeship programs throughout the St. Louis metro area. (Photo Courtesy Gateway Apprenticeship Hub)

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