New apprenticeship program offers employers ‘upskilling’ training options

Posted on: February 11, 2015

OCALA, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2015) – Businesses in Citrus, Levy and Marion counties can take advantage of a new apprenticeship program that enables employers to develop the curriculum, set eligibility criteria and select trainees from among current workers or new hires.

The apprenticeship program, also referred to as “upskilling,” is offered by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion in collaboration with the Marion Regional Manufacturers Association (MRMA). It is designed to facilitate business expansion and improved production, and includes reimbursement of up to $10,000 to cover costs of on-the-job mentoring and training.
CareerSource CLM will partner with employers to assist in developing training programs that best meet their unique needs.

Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CEO, said “this is not a cookie-cutter or one-size fits all program.”

“Since employers are the experts about their own company’s needs, employers are in charge of setting the curriculum which includes both skills instruction and learning in the workplace,” Skinner said. “Employers also set the entry criteria, from test scores to attendance.”

The new initiative was introduced at the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership’s annual luncheon earlier this month. CEP President and CEO Kevin Sheilley called it an “incredible program … (and) an awesome deal.”

“CareerSource will work with you to make sure we’re the leader in education and workforce,” Sheilley said.

The program initially focuses on manufacturing training for Computer Numeric Control (CNC) operators and programmers. However, Skinner said it can be customized to accommodate other occupations and industries.

Skinner and Rob Adamiak, MRMA’s executive director, will appear Friday, Feb. 13 on WOCA’s “AM Ocala Live” 96.3 FM / 1370 AM at 9:35 a.m. to provide more information and answer calls about the program.  Interested employers may also call Skinner at 352-861-1650.

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