It’s a Win-Win

Minnesota ManufacturedTM highlights a manufacturer’s apprenticeship program.

L&M Radiator in Hibbing, Minnesota, experienced labor shortage like many other manufacturers and felt they could give learn and earn opportunities to those who wanted a career in manufacturing. The journey to offer apprenticeships started a few years ago after an informational meeting on the matter at a local community college. Currently, they offer apprenticeships in welding, steel preparation, and machining. Each program has classroom sessions and hands-on shop floor training. As apprentices learn and excel, they complete written and hands-on assessments.

When asked for advice for manufacturers interested to start an apprenticeship program, L&M Radiator’s Human Resources Supervisor Kelly Hertling suggested taking the time to set it up right utilizing resources made available by the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI), a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and Department of Labor and Industry (DLI).  Hertling added that getting the apprenticeship program started was the hardest part but the rewards are well worth the effort put in. L&M Radiator’s training and internal programs have improved and are customized to their processes, which is exactly what they needed. Furthermore, they have dedicated and skilled employees whom they value; and the employees, in turn, have a career and they are happy – it’s a win all-around!