Idaho Manufacturing Alliance Signs First Apprentice with AceCo Knives

Boise, ID – As manufacturers struggle to fill positions and the ever-growing skills gap becomes more of a challenge, the Idaho Manufacturing Alliance (IMA) is working to grow talent pipeline opportunities and set our community up for success. In conjunction with Forging Futures Idaho, IMA has eight Federally Registered Apprenticeship Occupation Programs that employers can participate in to expand onincumbent or new employee training.

Employers stand to shape their workplace culture and reduce attrition through apprenticeship as 91% of apprentices will choose to stay with the employer that invested in them after program completion. AceCo Industrial Knives saw the opportunity to develop their staff by participating in the IMA Apprenticeship Program. They signed their first apprentice in June – a student at Boise School District’s Dennis Technical Education Center (DTEC) – who will be undergoing formal training in CNC Machine Operation and receive a federally recognized credential upon completion.

“We are excited about these apprenticeship programs. This is a great opportunity for both the student and the business. It is a win-win,” Tiffany Englar, Member Services Director at IMA said. The DTEC Apprentice is an example of a School to Registered Apprenticeship Program participant –
where students in their junior or senior year of High School can participate in a registered apprenticeship and start accruing training hours and RTI credits before graduation. DTEC offers career technical classes for students in the Boise School District in a variety of in-demand fields – helping to
prepare students for the workforce before graduation.

The manufacturing industry’s workforce is growing at a rapid pace. In Idaho, the employment in manufacturing is anticipated to grow 14.5% in the next seven years and while the average annual salary in manufacturing is $76,655, which is 40% higher than other industries, employers are struggling to fill open positions with skilled workers. On top of being a potential solution to the concerning skills gap, Apprenticeship Programs can help with recruiting, improve productivity and profitability, decrease
turnover, and benefit employees. On-the-job learning also allows for employers to train apprentices in real-life, real-time practices that fit company culture. Employers can pursue apprenticeship with
incumbent workers, new hires, and students (STRAP).

If you are interested in hiring or becoming an apprentice, contact IMA at