John Deere announces new registered apprenticeship program

July 19, 2019 -  By

John Deere received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor for its new registered apprenticeship program and is making it available to its agriculture and turf, as well as its construction and forestry dealers.

The program will help address a widespread shortage of service technicians, especially in rural areas across the country, by providing dealers with a formalized, on-the-job and technical training plan to help them develop more highly skilled employees.

“The new registered apprenticeship program complements our existing John Deere Tech program,” said Grant Suhre, director, region four customer and product support for John Deere Ag & Turf. “In addition to the on-the-job training experience, an apprentice will receive technical instruction and be assigned a personal mentor as a part of the highly organized training structure. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, he or she will receive a nationally recognized journeyworker certificate.”

Photo: John Deere

Photo: John Deere

Through participation in the apprenticeship program, dealers formally commit to developing additional talent in an earn-while-you-learn program. A participating apprentice benefits from structured, on-the-job training in partnership with an experienced mentor. As training progresses, apprentices are rewarded for new skills acquired.

According to Tim Worthington, manager, customer support for the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division, participating dealerships will see numerous benefits.

“Because of the earn-while-you-learn nature of the program, it will help dealers more easily recruit new employees and further develop a highly skilled workforce,” Worthington said.

When apprentices participate, they track and report their on-the-job learning and technical training time in conjunction with their employer. The dealer’s program administrator then inputs this data into the appropriate state or federal database. To ensure high standards are maintained, dealers are required to follow specific guidelines, developed over years of apprenticeship experience, after they are registered.

John Deere dealers can collaborate with any number of local organizations as part of the registered apprenticeship program. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the John Deere Tech Program, K-12 schools, community colleges, labor organizations, economic development groups, foundations and workforce development boards.

To simplify participation for its dealers, John Deere created national guideline standards for the registered apprenticeship program, which have been shared with its dealer channel and is providing technical assistance to dealers interested in participating. “These guidelines provide a consistent apprenticeship program template that any dealer can implement if they participate,” Suhre explained. Dealers can utilize these national guideline standards to have a program approved and operating in a very short timeframe.

For more information about the John Deere registered apprenticeship program, please visit a local John Deere dealer.

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