I went through a 4 year apprenticeship, 8 hr class every other week, for 3 years during the school year. State of Wisconsin indentureship required all class hours paid.
Had to keep a log of hours on each machine and process.
Since then 2 of the programs in Wisconsin were discontinued due to lack of support from industry. And now businesses complain they can't get qualified workers, go figure.
Good news in this area, is that the tech school is staring up a new campus for the trades. Fabrication trade is one of them.
Yup. It's pretty well known throughout the whole county. I believe that aside from the county itself, and the local healthcare system, we are the next largest employer. On average, every position we post has over 100 applicants.
It's how I came into the company with zero machining experience (well, I owned a wood lathe in high school ) and worked my way into what I am today. February 6th is my 10 year anniversary with the company.
Edit: The apprenticeship only accepts 4 new candidates per year, so it's not like we're bringing in 20 new people every year. But it's a good system (not that I have any other to compare to, so maybe it's terrible, I dunno?) I worked in more or less every department we have, deburring, finishing, mold and tool repair, prototype, milling, cylindrical grinding, swiss... Probably some other stuff I can't even remember. Once into the 2nd+ years, I got to do manual machining, as well as starting to learn CAM/Coding. When I graduated after 4 years, I was still barely a pimple on a machinists' ass. Now, 10 years in, I feel ok calling myself a machinist, but I know I'm not a very good one, just good enough to get by. But, I learn something new every day, and that's good enough for me.