By MARK EVANS
In November last year, ASL Pewter became a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL). Wade Johnson of the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship – Missouri presented owners Tom and Pat Hooper with a framed certificate marking this achievement on Jan. 19.
The program, under the USDOL’s Office of Apprenticeship, champions an “earn while you learn,” structured yet flexible career skills training model. Under Registered Apprenticeship employee-apprentices receive paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a nationally recognized, post-secondary credential while employers develop a more skilled workforce. “This is celebrating a key milestone, which is something we highly encourage our program sponsors to do,” Johnson said.
The National Apprenticeship Program is designed to provide highly qualified employees for in-demand occupations. It originated in 1937 with the Fitzgerald Act as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. Widely adopted initially in the manufacturing and construction trade segments of the US workforce, Registered Apprenticeship has expanded over the past decade to cover “a full gamut” of industries to include emerging technologies, Johnson said.
“This is a truly special apprenticeship,” Johnson said of ASL Pewter. “You get somebody who has made products for the Smithsonian and Williamsburg and continues what I consider an Old World, time-honored craft and seeks to train someone who might be interested, that’s pretty cool.” (Pat Hooper added that the White House has also been a customer of their crafts).