Apprenticeship program launches to meet area employer needs

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(KMVT/KSVT) — Students in the Mini-Cassia area started classes yesterday morning for a brand new apprenticeship program that will help them get jobs with local food processing companies.

KMVT Emily Duke photo

That's the topic of this week’s Grow Southern Idaho.

Students and their parents met Tuesday night for a kick off meeting with their potential new employers.

The apprenticeship program has been in the works for two years and targets students who wouldn't otherwise have considered higher education.

The organizers hope to show these students what opportunities are available in local machine operator jobs, specifically in food processing.

“The industry leaders asked us to help put this together and so it's to benefit them and to benefit students to create a pipeline of future workforce,” said workforce consultant Chet Jeppesen.

Last night the students signed contracts committing to be in class every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7 a.m.

Because the program covers the Minidoka and Cassia county school districts — who run on different school calendars — they decided to make the program a zero hour class.

The students will complete 155 classroom hours and 2,000 on the job hours with one of the three companies Fabri-Kal, McCain Foods or High Desert Milk.

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