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Registered Apprenticeship: The Future of Workforce Development in Urban Forestry


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Registered Apprenticeship: The Future of Workforce Development in Urban Forestry

  1. 1. Registered Apprenticeship The Future of Workforce Development in Urban Forestry
  2. 2. Presentation Overview 2 • What is Apprenticeship? • Different to other training programs • Examples of apprenticeship in arboriculture • Partnerships in apprenticeship • Why Apprenticeship? • Solves issues in the industry • Benefits of registered apprenticeship
  4. 4. REGISTERED APPRENTICESHIP An industry driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential. 4 apprenticeship.gov
  5. 5. How are apprenticeships different than other workforce training programs? Industry led Structured & paid training Creating standards across the industry • On-the-job learning • Mentorship • Supplemental education • Diversity • Quality & safety • Credentials apprenticeship.gov
  6. 6. 6 Various skilled trades use apprenticeship to build a more professional, well- trained workforce. SKILLED TRADES & APPRENTICESHIP Skilled Trade # of apprenticeship programs in the US Plumbing >1,000 Construction 908 Manufacturing >1,000 Tech/computer support 560 Electrician >1,000 Equipment operation & engineering >1,000 Mechanical >1,000 Telecommunications 328 Arboriculture <10 https://www.apprenticeship.gov/apprenticeship-job-finder
  7. 7. APPRENTICESHIP IN ARBORICULTURE 7 Examples from Openlands & Wisconsin
  8. 8. Openlands Arborist Registered Apprenticeship (ARA) 9 ARA Municipal (employers & trainers) Labor & workforce development (support) Commercial tree care (employers & trainers) Openlands (employer & program sponsor)
  9. 9. WISCONSIN ARBORIST APPRENTICESHIP Enrolls existing employees into program for classroom training. 10 WAA Community college (trainer) Commercial tree care (sponsor & employer)
  10. 10. All tree care industry partners can play a role in apprenticeship Non-profit Commercial tree care Municipal Education Workforce development
  11. 11. WHY APPRENTICESHIP? 12 Identifying workforce issues in the tree care industry and how registered apprenticeship can help solve them.
  12. 12. WORKFORCE SHORTAGE •Tree care industry is growing! •Higher demand for better trained workers •Difficulty hiring quality candidates 13
  13. 13. Source: Urban Forestry 2020 Project, funded by the USFS through the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council. (Data: 2014-2016) Job Opportunities for Arborists
  14. 14. WORKFORCE SHORTAGE Benefits of apprenticeship •Entry-level opportunities •Structured training & curriculum •Approved by the industry! •Broader recruitment opportunities 15
  15. 15. INDUSTRY VISIBILITY •Lack of awareness & understanding •Word of mouth hiring •Job vs. career 16
  16. 16. INDUSTRY VISIBILITY Benefits of apprenticeship •Utilizing partners & local workforce development agencies •Apprenticeship provides a clear career pathway •College degree not required 17
  17. 17. Career Pathways in Arboriculture Source: ISA, https://www.isa-arbor.com/Careers/Careers-in- Arboriculture/Career-Paths-Flowchart
  18. 18. EMPLOYEE RETENTION •High turnover rates • 40% in first 3 months •Paying higher wages for better quality candidates •No experience -> steep learning curve 19 NatureWorks: Exploring the Green Infrastructure Workforce (2017)
  19. 19. EMPLOYEE RETENTION Benefits of apprenticeship •93% of apprentices retain employment •Investing in employees reduces turnover •Dedicated time for training •Employees feel more valued 20 apprenticeship.gov
  20. 20. LACKING DIVERSITY •Not enough women or diverse communities represented • 10% women • 95% white •Perception of industry 21 Kuhns, M.R., Bragg, H. A., & Blahna, D.J. (2002). Involvement of women & minorities in the urban forestry profession.
  21. 21. LACKING DIVERSITY Benefits of apprenticeship •Reduces employment barriers •Alternative to higher education •Arboriculture as a skilled trade •Representation matters 22
  22. 22. WHY APPRENTICESHIP? 23 What are the benefits for working with apprenticeship in arboriculture?
  23. 23. BENEFITS OF APPRENTICESHIP For every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers may get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity, reduced waste, and greater frontline innovation. 24 Fact Sheet: Investing $90 Million Through Apprenticeship, U.S. Department of Labor, (April 21, 2016)
  24. 24. MONETARY BENEFITS OF APPRENTICESHIP Recruitment & hiring costs Productivity & retention Workforce development $$$ • Less turnover -> lower costs to recruit, hire & onboard new staff • Lowers long-term training costs • Improves productivity & profitability • Offers flexibility in training • Funding for training through WIOA • Wraparound services for apprentices
  25. 25. MONETARY BENEFITS OF APPRENTICESHIP Tax credits & wage subsidies Greater business opportunities Inflation Reduction Act • IL - $3,500 tax credit per apprentice • +$1,500 for underserved apprentice or business location • Projects & bids specific to apprenticeship • IL Works Act – capital funded projects to use 10% apprentice labor • Funding for green infrastructure & green jobs • Apprenticeship-specific federal funding
  26. 26. PARTNER TESTIMONIAL “I lucked out entering the industry with a small company that really helped me learn good arboricultural practices. I was thinking that if I didn’t have that I would have wanted to go through a program like you are running. I appreciate your work on this.” -Ryan Sherman, Davey Tree Experts 27
  27. 27. APPRENTICE TESTIMONIALS “I think this is an amazing program and I am so grateful to be apart of it.” -Grace Ehlinger, 2022 ARA Cohort 28 “This program has put me in a very good position to be an arborist and acquire new skills that will allow me to branch out in this industry.” -Lisa Mende, 2021 ARA Cohort “The best part is the training – I love being outside and applying everything we learn in the field.” -Emmanuel Gamez, 2022 ARA Cohort
  28. 28. 29 • Registered apprenticeship can further professionalize our industry • All urban forestry professionals can participate • Partnerships are key for a successful program • Registered apprenticeship can help solve issues in our industry • Urban forestry can benefit from investing in training our workforce • Current and future funding opportunities for working with apprenticeship Key Takeaways
  29. 29. THANK YOU! Katie Fleming Senior Forestry Program Manager, Openlands Phone 312-863-6275 Email kfleming@openlands.org