The Missouri Apprentice Ready program launched in Springfield in March 2022 and seeks to prepare those interested in the building and construction trades for a registered apprenticeship. 

The program runs for five weeks every quarter, and focuses on connecting minorities, women and returning veterans with the building and construction industry.

Austin Fox, Springfield Missouri Apprentice Ready coordinator, described the program as, “a pre-apprenticeship program for the building and construction trades… where we basically prepare someone to go into a registered apprenticeship through one of our building and trades unions in town.”

Since starting in March, the Missouri Apprentice Ready program has had 13 graduates, with one already landing a registered apprenticeship with Heavy Laborers working for Dewitt and Associates, and three more waiting on acceptance into their respective apprenticeship programs.

“... We get them OSHA 10 certified (and) CPR certified,” said Fox. “We cover about 40 hours of construction math, just to… get their math skills up and ready for whatever apprenticeship they choose in the construction trades.”

The participating trade unions in this program include: Plumbers and Pipefitters local 178, IBEW Electrician 453, Carpenters 978, Ironworkers 10, Sheetmetal SMART 36, Bricklayers 15, Heavy Laborers 663, Cement Masons 518, and Operating Engineers Local 101.

Missouri Apprentice Ready originated from St. Louis under the name Building Union Diversity (BUD) in 2012, which continues to operate today. In September of last year, the Missouri Apprentice Ready program launched in Kansas City, before eventually starting up in Springfield earlier this year.

The Missouri Apprentice Ready wishes to highlight the building and construction registered apprenticeships as an opportunity to receive an education and get paid while doing it. 

The next cohort begins Oct. 17 and will run until graduation on Nov. 18. To apply, visit moworksinitiative.org, and select the link for the Springfield program.

Follow McKenzie Lewis on Twitter, @kenzlew1s

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