Two of the state’s large employers are being recognized for having registered apprenticeship programs that meet federal guidelines.
Apprentices in programs at Tyson Foods and Wells Fargo start earning a paycheck while getting on-the-job experience along with classroom training. Lonny Jepsen, director of human resources for Tyson Foods, says his company’s program partnered with community colleges in Fort Dodge, Des Moines, Waterloo and Muscatine to help train their apprentices.
“Within Tyson Foods pork operation, we realized that we have a very critical need for apprentices in the maintenance departments of our operations,” Jepsen says. “We’re not the only company with this need. As with many companies in our industry and other industries, we feel that shortage when filling critical roles that allow our plants to perform optimally.”
Lance LaVergne, a senior VP at Wells Fargo, says his company aims to expand its apprenticeship program to veterans.
“If you talk to any of our team members who work with veterans at Wells Fargo or hiring managers who have brought them into the organization, they will tell you that our veterans are critical and strategic thinkers,” LaVergne says. “They are team players. They are diligent. They are hard-working. They are mission-driven which means that they focus on a task until it’s completed.”
LaVergne and Jepsen were in the governor’s office yesterday to sign paperwork showing their companies’ apprenticeship programs meet U.S. Labor Department standards. There are 846 other registered apprenticeship programs in the state of Iowa.
This is National Apprenticeship Week.