This post is part of a weekly series focused on Careers in Construction Month.
What is one of the secrets to attracting better trained, higher skilled and happier employees? Enroll them into an apprenticeship program so they can build a career and "earn while they learn." The Builders Association of North Central Florida (BANCF) and its partner Santa Fe College have been training apprentices for nearly three decades, benefiting BANCF members and individuals seeking a fulfilling career.
"A trade is a skill that individuals can have with them forever and is applicable anywhere in the country," said Gina Hill, BANCF's Training Director for Apprenticeship.
BANCF members are invited to opt into the program and agree to sponsor their employee for a low tuition fee per year. Once enrolled in the program, the employee attends classes at the Charles R. Perry Construction Institute at Santa Fe College two nights a week and receives on-the-job training working for their employer. Apprenticeship opportunities are available in carpentry, electrical, HVAC and plumbing. Apprentices make more than $80,000 during their four-year employment in the electrical, heating and air conditioning, or plumbing trades. Earnings can reach $40,000 if enrolled in the two-year carpentry program.
There are more than 200 individuals currently enrolled in the program, and 40 of them are on track to graduate in May 2021. BANCF's graduates often continue their employment with their sponsor, and some eventually start their own business. Hill notes that several graduates are so motivated to inspire others to learn the trades, they become instructors in the program.
To learn more about the program, visit BANCF's website.