Dow Develops Apprenticeship Program in the U.S.
MIDLAND, MI—October 6, 2014—A new U.S. Apprenticeship pilot program from The Dow Chemical Company will be offered at various Dow sites nationwide in 2015. The program is in support of a major initiative of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort to increase U.S. leadership in new technology, manufacturing job creation, and global competitiveness.
“Skills training in manufacturing is crucial for America’s global competitiveness,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. “Today, when Americans graduate from high school, there are simply too few options for skills-based continuing education. Apprenticeship programs provide an opportunity for the public and private sectors to partner in a meaningful way and to prepare the next generation of Americans for tomorrow’s high-skilled, high-paying advanced manufacturing careers.”
Supporting the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership
The goal of the U.S. Apprenticeship Program is to create a technical workforce with an advanced skill set, providing growth and development in the manufacturing and engineering fields. Top-level training will be provided to participants and will last between two to four years. Apprentices will also gain experience working in the field in competitive and lucrative areas within the industry. Dow has partnered with community colleges and apprentices will see a combination of classroom and in-field training. Once the program has been completed, Dow will evaluate apprentices for employment opportunities within the company.
Program to launch in California, Illinois, and Texas
The first locations the U.S. Apprenticeship Program will be offered in are Pittsburg, California, The Chicagoland area, and five Texas manufacturing sites (Freeport, Bayport, Deer Park, Seadrift and Texas City.) Dow expects to bring 60 apprentices on board in 2015 to take on roles as chemical process operators, instrumentation and equipment technicians, and analyzer technicians.
Growing a Workforce for the Future
According to a recent IHS Global Insight study, approximately 630,000 new jobs in U.S. manufacturing were a result of the U.S. shale gas boom, resulting in between 2,800 to 3,500 jobs created indirectly from natural gas and shale exploration. Despite the new jobs, the industry is currently suffering from a dearth of job-seekers with the necessary skills to take on key roles in manufacturing. The study states that more than 600,000 jobs are vacant, with a majority of these being technical positions.
“Apprenticeship recruitment for technical roles is a critical component of Dow’s effort to ensure a sustainable supply of skilled workers to fill our talent pipeline as we continue to grow in the U.S.,” said Gregory Freiwald, chief human resources officer and executive vice president of The Dow Chemical Company. “This is about helping to close the skills gap, supporting the sustainability of our operations and the communities in which we operate.”