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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Assistant Deputy Secretary Highlights Apprenticeship Success at Spooner Hospital Construction Site

Apprentices from St. Croix Falls-based NEI Electric earn as they learn at site of new facility

SPOONER – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Assistant Deputy Secretary Dave Anderson toured the construction site of the new Spooner Hospital to highlight Wisconsin Apprenticeship, a proven talent development strategy that has trained generations of Wisconsinites for family-supporting jobs, including apprentices working on the construction project.

"Registered Apprenticeship helps employers across the state address their need for skilled workers through customized training programs that help individuals earn while they learn," Assistant Deputy Secretary Anderson said. "For decades, other states have studied what makes Wisconsin Apprenticeship so effective, and to this day our state's program remains a model of innovation and success."

During the site visit and tour, Assistant Deputy Secretary met representatives of NEI Electric of St. Croix Falls, a contractor whose apprentices are developing skills at the project site in collaboration area educators, businesses and community leaders.

NEI Electric has more than 100 years of electrical experience servicing northern Wisconsin communities. Over the past 20 years, the company has trained nearly 70 individuals for Registered Apprenticeship, resulting in an 85% completion rate of the four-year apprenticeship and Journeyworker credential. NEI Electric currently has 13 apprentices.

John Gerlach, Senior Vice President of NEI Electric stated, "Active participation and engagement in the apprenticeship program enables us to reinforce and strengthen the future of our industry while securing its prosperity."

Governor Walker included funding for Registered Apprenticeship in the 2015-17 biennial budget he signed last summer. Under the Governor's leadership, DWD has taken steps to modernize and reinforce the state's Registered Apprenticeship program as a national model.

In September, DWD was awarded a $5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor for the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Growth and Enhancement Strategies (WAGE$) project. Under the initiative, DWD's Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards will register new apprenticeships in 12 high-growth occupations in the Advanced Manufacturing, HealthCare, and IT industries, and the project will expand upon other existing programs.

For more information on Wisconsin's Registered Apprenticeship program, visit: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship/

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