MAY 29, 2008
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sheet metal workers’ joint apprentice training committee awarded $50,000

NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley have awarded a $50,000 federal grant to the Sheet Metal Workers’ Joint Apprentice Training Committee in Knoxville.  The grant will provide training to 40 apprentices in structural and pipe welding, OSHA approved safety training, layout, pattern development, blueprint reading and field installation.

The apprenticeship grants come from federal funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Labor under the provisions of the Workforce Investment Act of 1999 which is administered by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. 

"It is vital to continually train and upgrade the skills of Tennessee’s workforce to keep our state competitive," said Governor Bredesen. "Apprenticeship training grants are a valuable resource to help meet the demands for skilled labor in Tennessee and help businesses become more productive.”

"I am proud to award this federal grant money for the Sheet Metal Workers’ Joint Apprentice Training Committee," said Commissioner Neeley.  "Since January 1st of this year the Workforce Development Division has awarded more than $400,000 in this pilot program for apprenticeship training, benefiting close to 320 apprentices across the state."


“I am pleased Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Neely have awarded this federal grant to the Sheet Metal Workers’ Joint Apprentice Training Committee in Knoxville,” said Senator Jamie Woodson.  “The trainees in this field will benefit greatly and so will the employers who hire them.”


“This grant program is good for our economy,” said Representative Bill Dunn.  “I appreciate the Governor and Department of Labor for creating this program for apprenticeship training.”


Workforce Connections played a key role in awarding the grant to the Sheet Metal Workers’ Joint Apprentice Training Committee.


The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development administers the Apprenticeship Assistance Program.  The program is designed to help bring valuable skills training for the building trades and other skills related jobs in high-growth industries that face critical skilled worker shortages where demand exceeds supply. 

The following criteria must be met to qualify for the Apprenticeship Assistance Program. Organizations or employers must be recognized by the US/DOL Office of Apprenticeship and have an active apprenticeship program in Tennessee.  Funding priority is given to organizations that promote training in pre-apprenticeship and 1st and 2nd year apprentices where there are critical skilled worker shortages.


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