Apprenticeships Provide Economic Advantages to Businesses, Workers

posted on Monday, November 14, 2022 in  College News

Trevor Engels sees the value of apprenticeships from a few different perspectives.

As the owner of TEAM Builders, a residential construction company, he understands the value apprentices add to his workforce. As a carpentry apprenticeship instructor at Hawkeye Community College, he sees the way students are able to gain key skills and stake out a path for themselves in the industry.

“Not everyone comes with the same goal,” he said. “Some want to grow within their company. Some want to stay right where they are and just get better skills. Some are looking for new opportunities and feel like this is the path to help them get there. Ultimately, we want to make them a better carpenter than when they came in.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 593,000 apprentices in the U.S. and more than two million new apprentices have been registered since 2012. Hawkeye offers a variety of registered apprenticeships in the construction trades, healthcare, manufacturing, truck driving, and more.

“Strong apprenticeships rely on a solid three-way partnership between students, employers, and the college,” said Jerry Orr, trade and industry coordinator for Hawkeye Business and Community Education. Apprentices are sponsored or employed by local businesses, providing them on-the-job training that pairs with classroom instruction.

Hawkeye is continually evaluating its apprenticeship offerings, working with local businesses to identify ways new or existing apprenticeship programs can bolster their workforce. With more than 1,000 apprenticeships recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Orr says the possibilities are nearly limitless.

“It’s really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to apprenticeship opportunities,” he said. “It’s an age-old model, but one that has adapted well to meet the modern demands of business and industry.”

Apprenticeships are a sound investment, with studies showing a $1.47 return for every dollar a company invests. They are shown to reduce turnover costs, increase employee retention, and serve as a flexible, industry-driven training model. Currently more than 314 Hawkeye apprentices are working and learning at more than 150 companies. The demand for these skilled workers remains high.

“There are a lot of positions out there available, especially on those larger teams where they have big projects,” Engels said.  “They can use people who are skilled and have the drive to want to learn and do good work. Going through this program and then having a little background knowledge on top of that could be really huge for them.”

If your company or business is interested in partnering to create an apprenticeship program to train your workforce, call Hawkeye Business and Community Education at 319-277-2490.


  1. Apprenticeship
  2. Business and Community Education
  3. National Apprenticeship Week
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