Clemco Employees Reap Benefits of Apprenticeship with Local College



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In August 2018, Clemco Industries Corp. (Washington, Missouri), in collaboration with East Central College in neighboring Union, Missouri, launched a Welder Apprenticeship Program. Four Clemco employees currently are enrolled in the three-year program, which is funded by a Missouri Registered Apprenticeship Program (MORAP) grant. The $239,550 MORAP grant, awarded by the Missouri Department of Workforce Development, has enabled East Central to partner with Clemco to develop apprenticeship programs since then.

The four Clemco employees in the Welder Apprenticeship Program range in age from 20 to 33, all having been with Clemco under five years. During Fall 2018, they spent their Tuesday and Thursday evenings in four-hour, hands-on classes on the East Central campus that taught metal inert gas (MIG), tungsten inert gas (TIG) and stick welding. The MORAP grant covered the students’ tuition and book fees, and they maintained their day jobs at Clemco.

After completing the fall semester of instruction at East Central, the four apprentices began transitioning into full-time welding positions at Clemco­­. The hours they work count toward the on-the-job training required to earn their specializations in welding certificates from East Central.

In January 2019, KETC Channel 9 (the St. Louis public television station) posted a video about the Welder Apprenticeship Program in its “Working St. Louis” web series, which explores in-demand jobs and careers in the region that are attainable after high school, with or without a college degree.