Governor Bullock Visits Missoula College to Highlight the Role of Apprenticeship in Economic Recovery, Releases Annual Report

  • — October 21 2020

Governor Steve Bullock today released the 2020 Montana Registered Apprenticeship Data Report during a visit to the Missoula College Carpentry Shop to highlight how apprenticeship has consistently played a significant role in the Montana economy and continues to be essential as the state recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Apprenticeship has long been integral to Montana’s workforce development and continues to be an innovative way to meet the emerging needs in the state’s economy for both workers and businesses as we work toward economic recovery,” Governor Bullock said.
“At the Missoula College, apprentices can pursue in demand careers like carpentry and other growing fields to find a good paying job and supply businesses with talented and trained workers they need to stabilize and eventually expand their business.”
“At Missoula College we provide our students with a hands-on learning experience so that they can develop the skills needed to immediately succeed in the workforce and meet the growing labor demands in our state,” said Missoula College Dean Tom Gallagher.
“Through our apprenticeship programs, we connect ambitious students directly with local employers – allowing them to earn while they learn.”

Apprenticeship group of people standing in garage

Governor Bullock was joined by carpentry, welding, machining, heavy equipment operations and diesel technology students at the Missoula College’s West Campus. Missoula College provides technical instruction for a variety of apprenticeships including carpentry, , information technology, accounting, medical technician and medical claims processing. Next semester, the college will begin offering a new construction preparedness program, created with the assistance of a DLI Apprenticeship Incentive Grant of $4,500.

The report shows apprenticeship has contributed significantly to the economic success of Montana workers and continues to expand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program is on track to finish 2020 with an increased number of active apprentices and sponsors compared to 2019. Apprenticeships also contribute to the success of Montana’s workers. A year after graduation, apprentices earn an average wage of $58,086, nearly $11,600 higher than the statewide average wage.

Construction-related trades, which include carpentry, make up the greatest share of apprenticeships overall. Of those in construction, 34 percent of apprentices are in programs for electricians and 21 percent for plumbing.

Additional highlights from the 2020 apprenticeship report include:

  • Apprenticeship continues to gain popularity, with the total number increasing by an average of 13 percent each year from 2013 to 2019. In 2019, 2,632 apprentices were participating in programs. Through September 30, 2020, there have been 2,458 apprentices participating.
  • Apprenticeships help retain skilled workers in Montana. Approximately 84 percent of apprentices who graduated before 2015 were still working for a Montana employer five years later.
  • Since 2000, 54 out of Montana’s 56 counties have had at least one apprenticeship participant.
  • Some of the fastest-growing apprenticeship opportunities are in the healthcare field. From 2015 to 2019, certified nursing assistants have had the highest growth in apprenticeships, while medical coding ranks sixth and medical assistants rank tenth.
  • The number of active sponsors has increased by approximately 8.5 percent per year in the last five years. About 650 sponsors had an active apprentice in 2019, and through September 30, 2020, there are about 640 active sponsors.
  • The share of women in apprenticeships has increased over the past five years, from 4.4 percent in 2015 to 21.3 percent in 2019.
  • Through the apprenticeship tax credit passed by Governor Bullock in 2017, 314 businesses were eligible to claim the tax credit for 1,000 apprentices in 2019. The combined tax credits available for all eligible employers was $807,000 in 2019.
To learn more about the Montana Registered Apprenticeship program, visit The 2020 Registered Apprenticeship Program Data Report is available here: Reports and Studies/Apprenticeship-Data-Report-2020.pdf
Back To Top