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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, 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
Friday, March 11, 2016
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

DWD Announces New Apprenticeship Program for Arborists

MADISON – Today, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Ray Allen announced that, in response to employer demand, Wisconsin has created a new Apprenticeship program for the Arborist industry.

Apprenticeship is a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations. It combines on-the-job learning under the supervision of experienced journey workers with related classroom instruction. It is sponsored by employers, employer associations, or labor/management groups that can hire and train in a working situation.

"Working with input from industry leaders, we are pleased to introduce a new Apprenticeship program to help standardize training across the Arborist industry." Secretary Allen said. "Programs like Apprenticeship allow us to work with businesses across the state to meet their training needs and support a climate that creates jobs and moves our economy forward."

The Arborist industry approached DWD and expressed an interest in creating standardized training for the profession. As part of their desire to create a national standard within the industry, they wanted to develop an Arborist program that now also includes "plant healthcare" as well as "tree care." DWD will present the new program to the U.S Department of Labor (USDOL) for consideration as a federal program.

Arborists prune or remove trees and shrubs, and diagnose and treat tree and plant disease to improve the appearance and health, and importantly, to clear hazards from residential, commercial and public roads and green spaces. The occupation is currently in high demand and is projected to increase as municipalities and other entities plant more trees as part of green initiatives.

Partners in the creation of this new program included large and small businesses to ensure that the program would fit different types of employers in the industry.

Ron Zillmer, Associate Dean for the Technical and Industrial Division at Mid-State Technical College, has been leading industry involvement of this program in Wisconsin.

"Arborists are highly skilled professionals providing all aspects of tree care from planting and pruning to managing fertility, diseases, and insects through plant health care services," Associate Dean Zillmer said. "The tree care industry will now enjoy the benefits of skilled trade recognition as well as cutting edge training delivered through the registered apprenticeship system. It is a great day for trees and all who enjoy their benefits in our urban ecosystems."

DWD also has support and has been working with national organizations such as the Tree Care Industry Association on the creation of this program.

For more information on Wisconsin Apprenticeship or this new program visit: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship/

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