Apprenticeship Program Making a Difference

Workforce development is one of the top issues facing every Oklahoma manufacturer. The state is on target to experience a worker shortage of nearly 20,000 people by 2028, and factors contributing to the talent gap include an aging population, lower labor participation rates and shifting skills.

That’s why Workforce OMA, an initiative of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, is offering a registered apprenticeship program to help manufacturers improve the skills of their employees.

Can an apprenticeship program help your company?

Registered apprenticeship programs developed in collaboration with OMA are targeted at relevant occupation and skill needs. Top occupations include:

  • Machine Operators
  • Assembler
  • Maintenance Technician/Mechanic
  • CNC Machinist
  • Material Handlers
  • Welder

For many Oklahoma companies, the apprenticeship program has provided just the lift their participants need to improve their skills and feel better able to have a successful career in manufacturing.

In April, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance joined with Georg Fischer Central Plastics to kick off the company’s new registered apprenticeship program. Through the launch of the registered apprenticeship program, Georg Fischer will be able to grow its skilled maintenance workforce to facilitate its continued business expansion.

Likewise, the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance recently joined with Refresco in Fort Gibson to kick off the company’s new registered apprenticeship program. Workforce OMA partnered with Port Muskogee and Indian Capital Technology Center in the initiative that will provide a skilled pipeline of qualified machine technicians.

With the registered apprenticeship program, both manufacturer and employees can enjoy multiple benefits from an apprenticeship program:

Benefits for Manufacturers

  • Skilled Workforce
  • Improve Productivity
  • Diversity
  • Reduced Turnover of Employees
  • Customizable Training
  • Ability to Retain Workers

Benefits for Apprentices

  • Paid on-the-job learning
  • Classroom instruction
  • Mentorship
  • Portable, nationally recognized credential

Financial incentives exist to help Oklahoma manufacturers, and Workforce OMA is ready to guide a company through the apprenticeship program design and implementation. Companies who create a registered apprenticeship program can receive up to $3,000 per apprentice and up to $12,000 per occupation, with a $24,000 cap for single employers.

For more information, contact Dr. Sharon Harrison, our Director of Workforce Development, at