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MAC Partnering with Mondi on Apprenticeship Program

Mineral Area College has been designated as a registered entity of apprenticeship programs for multiple occupations.

Thanks to a $67,000 grant from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development (part of the state’s Apprenticeship USA grant) MAC can now sponsor registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs), and it’s doing so now with Mondi in Jackson and Lee Mechanical in Park Hills.

Bev Hickam, MAC’s director of workforce development, said RAPs are a unique partnership between a business and, often, an educational entity like a community college or technical college. Participants in the apprenticeship program usually get on-the-job training and college credit simultaneously.

In Mondi’s case, the grant provides for the flexible packaging manufacturer to secure two registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs) for the positions of “Flexible Manufacturing Technician” and “Flexible Packaging Printing Technician.”

“These programs will help Mondi prepare with regards to hiring machine operators and printers, and teach them the skills they need in the business.  The programs also help the current workforce hone their skills and learn new skills in an ever-changing industry,” Hickam said.

MAC helped Mondi develop the Standards of Apprenticeship for the two apprenticeship programs.  MAC will also help recruit applicants, provide curriculum and training, maintain apprenticeship records, and serve as intermediary with other state and federal agencies.

Birdie LeGrand, training manager for Mondi, said she anticipates the partnership will have a solidifying effect on their present mentorship, internship and training efforts.

Hickam said Mondi’s apprenticeship programs range from two to three years. Participants enrolled in the program will get a minimum of 4,000 to 6,000 structured on-the-job training hours, 241 to 281 hours of related classroom instruction, 15 college credit hours, industry recognized credentials and pay increases based on their progression through the program. Completion results in a Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Certificate.

Career & Technical Education Dean Roger McMillian said the college is excited to be able to serve area employers by sponsoring registered apprenticeship programs.

“We look forward to working with additional employers who wish to establish registered apprenticeships within their companies,” he said.

In addition to Mondi’s two programs, another has been developed in partnership with Lee Mechanical, a full-service mechanical contractor in Park Hills, for the position “combination welder.”  

The college’s workforce development department promotes economic opportunities and focuses on developing a skilled workforce for the region. Contact Bev Hickam, (573) 518-2182 or bhickam@MineralArea.edu, for more information.

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