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NBC News reports the Rooftop where the gunman shot at Trump was identified as a security vulnerability; Judge Cannon dismisses Classified Documents Case against Trump; UTA professors refuse to comply with Title IX of abortion law; smaller ranchers voice concerns about USDA electronic tag mandates.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Apprentices in demand for Tennessee construction careers

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Wednesday, December 13, 2023   

The apprenticeship "learn-while-you-earn" model has emerged as a game-changer for Tennessee employers who want to cultivate a skilled and dedicated workforce.

There are more than 8,500 apprentices in more than 380 registered apprenticeship programs in the state.

April Thomas, executive director of the Southeast Laborers Training Fund, said the programs
equip people with the skills needed to become journey-level laborers. The program is a combination of almost 300 hours of classroom instruction, along with 4,000 work hours.

"They go through a program, they start off at 80%," Thomas explained. "And every time they reach 72 classroom hours and 1,000 work hours, they get a 5% raise. They go from 80 to 85, to 90, 95 and 100. So, by the time they're done with the program, they're pretty much a well-rounded laborer."

Thomas noted pay rates for construction trades vary depending on the project and the agreement in place. She added the current journey-level rate, representing the highest pay level for experienced construction workers, can reach up to $24 per hour.

Thomas pointed out apprentices are working with different companies across the state, on projects for the Tennessee Valley Authority, nuclear plants and others. She added more apprentices are needed at the massive automotive manufacturing complex being built in the state, and for U.S. Department of Energy work.

"They're needed a lot in Knoxville because you have UCOR there, which is a DOE site, and we have a lot of apprentices in Knoxville," Thomas outlined. "We're starting to get a lot of apprentices at Blue Oval -- because they're big projects."

Thomas added apprentices are building the skills they need to handle everything from highway and bridge construction, to working at complex industrial facilities, which is bound to make them valuable to employers in these fields well into the future.

Disclosure: The Laborers International Union of North America contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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