Chamber talks apprentice programs

The Harlan County Chamber of Commerce heard talks during a meeting on Wednesday concerning the governmental Apprenticeship Programs. These programs are available to help employers train and maintain employees, as well as allowing registered apprentices the opportunity to learn through on-the-job training.

Ian Moores, of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Agency, spoke about the Growth Training Program. The Growth Training Program is an 18-month program for employers which combines workshops and hands-on consulting with the goals of retaining employees.

Moores noted that through the program he serves several companies throughout the area, ranging from as small as two employees to as large as 100 employees.

“The people are just fantastic to work with here,” said Moores. “My job is to work with companies to help them grow so they can expand.”

The program, named the Registered Apprenticeship, is a national system which offers on-the-job training in various careers through partnerships with businesses.

According to literature distributed during Wednesday’s meeting, registered apprenticeship programs aid in recruiting new personnel and support the activities of the human resources departments while citing that investing in the future of employees can strengthen their loyalty to the company.

Among other incentives, the literature highlighted the opportunity to work with a company or business to create a flexible training program appropriate to a specific business.

Moores also noted that as a Registered Apprenticeship employer partner, you are responsible for recruiting and leading apprentices as they learn and complete their certifications.

The minimum requirements for apprentices are they must be at least 16 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, be a US citizen or have permanent residency status, pass an entrance exam and be able to physically perform the occupational tasks. Some employers have additional requirements such as aptitude tests and interviews, passing school grades and previous work experience.

For information on Registered Apprenticeship Programs and how they can benefit your company or business visit the website at or call 202-693-2796. You can also contact Beth Craig at the Harlan Community Action Agency by calling 606-573-5335.

In other business, newly appointed chamber president Geof Marietta welcomed other newly appointed members which included vice president Preston McClain, secretary Ron Frazier, treasurer Anne Hensley, and four at-large board positions, Aimee Cupp, Teresa Cox-Mink, Scott Sherman and Connie Fields. The new president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and other positions were voted on during the December meeting with the votes being tallied by members Sarah Hobbs and Polly McClain.