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OhioMeansJobs: Apprenticeship Program Helps Employers

Published Thursday, January 7, 2021
OhioMeansJobs: Apprenticeship Program Helps Employers Editor’s Note: This is the third in a three-part series on employer services provided by OhioMeansJobs Champaign County to help local businesses retain their workforce through training that prepares valued Employees for new skills and technology and career advancement.  Other employer services featured in this series include Incumbent Worker Training and On-the-Job Training.


When recruiting for jobs that require specialized skills, employers compete for a limited pool of qualified candidates.

Ohio’s Registered Apprenticeship Program - available through OhioMeansJobs, helps employers overcome this challenge and build their skilled workforce from within.

“It’s ‘probably the best way to supply employers a pipeline of reliable, skilled Employees,’” OhioMeansJobs Business Services Representative Andrea Mitchell said.

Through the Registered Apprenticeship Program, employers provide proven, valued Employees the opportunity to learn new skills through structured on-the-job training that meets industry standards, aligned with technical instruction from an approved school - all while getting paid.

“Apprentices ‘earn a livable wage as they learn,’” Mitchell said.

The Rittal North America Facility in Urbana currently has three Employees enrolled in the Apprenticeship Program, with a fourth possibly beginning in early 2021, says Dan Yohey, who serves as a Quality Engineer and Manager Of Apprenticeships at Rittal.

Rittal has one Industrial Engineering Apprentice - David Vanderveen, an Assembler who has been with the company for six years, and two Maintenance Technician Apprentices - Billy Warren and Malik Tanksley, who have been at Rittal for less than two years.

Vanderveen started his Apprenticeship in late February 2020, and Warren and Tanksley in late May 2020.

All three are enrolled in 8,000-hour/four-year programs at Clark State Community College, with which Rittal has previously partnered with for internships.

The length of Apprenticeships varies by industry and occupation.

The Apprentices are completing on-the-job training under the supervision of mentors, who are among 10 Rittal Engineers, Managers and Senior Technicians who completed mentorship training developed for Rittal by Clark State.

The Registered Apprenticeship Program is employer-driven.

This means that employers design the training to meet their unique operational needs, choose the educational provider and curriculum to align with the on-the-job training and job requirements and select Apprentices, from within their existing workforce, who have proven themselves reliable, with the drive and talent to take on new challenges.

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