Guest Commentator: Tomika Hendricks, Training Coordinator, Rhoads Industries @Rhoads_Inc

How do apprenticeships benefit your workforce and organization?

Apprenticeship has had a positive impact on Rhoads Industries and its workforce. Rhoads Industries Apprentice Welding Program includes on the job training paired with classes from our local community college. While the apprenticeship model is applicable across different industries, in the manufacturing world apprenticeships prove that manufacturing is still alive and well! Here are a few ways that apprenticeship benefits the workforce and organization at large:

Succession planning – This is pretty straightforward. Apprenticeship programs enable the company to build its pipeline. Having incumbent employees work with apprentices allows for an organic flow of working knowledge. For traditional jobs, such as a welder, this is key as it is a skill that can’t be purely taught in the classroom. Apprenticeships address this skill shortage by building a structure that is tailored to the organization, leading to lower recruitment and training costs.

Creates a sense of community – The phrase “It takes a village” is prevalent here as apprenticeships give the company a unique opportunity to get individuals across the organization involved. Apprentices are ideally well-rounded employees, as they are the future leaders of the organization. Knowledge of the entire organizational structure and roles within are key. Getting different levels of management involved to bestow knowledge here opens up an opportunity for mentorship. Rhoads Industries has established a mentorship program as it is beneficial for the apprentices to have a fulfilling experience with the assistance of colleagues sharing their lessons, experiences, and tricks that have helped them master their trade. Mentors enjoy sharing their experiences as well as feedback to assist apprentices as they advance in their career.

Promotes a culture of learning – Establishing the apprentice program has allowed us to offer fundamental courses in welding and extend invitations to our incumbent workforce, giving the opportunity for those who are interested in the apprenticeship program to test the waters and demonstrate their level of interest.

As Rhoads Industries continues to experience growth our apprenticeship program will grow right along with it. With some financial assistance from state and federal entities, we are able to create a structure and teach the skills that enable us to build our workforce pipeline. Apprenticeship has given Rhoads Industries a unique opportunity to invest in the workforce of tomorrow.

Rhoads Industries’ Apprentice Welding Program is provided in partnership with several industry and educational organizations, including Chamber partner Philadelphia Works, Inc. Interested in learning more? Check out the various events happening in the region for National Apprenticeship Week.

In addition, Rhoads Industries is a member of the Chamber’s Education & Talent Action Team (ETAT), a group of 100+ Chamber members focused on creating clear pathways for the alignment between individuals and employers, and Middle Market Action Team (MMAT), a consortium of leaders driving rapid growth in companies with annual revenues between $10M & $1B through targeted programs and strategies.