With winter upon us and the beginning of a new year, it’s a natural time to reflect back on 2019, the challenges we faced and how we met them. Which leads us to look forward at what new things 2020 will bring.
Some Tree Care operations experienced unforseen growth this year. Others embraced the fullness of the niche of the market they fill. New connections were made at industry gatherings, and contracts with municipalities were entered into. One thing that continued to be present across the board is the challenge of acquiring and retaining enough quality employees to meet the needs of Colorado’s continued growth.
The Colorado Tree Care Sector Partnership continues to work as an industry-led group to find solutions to the biggest challenges facing the industry’s growth and success. In 2019, years of hard work by local business leaders, municipalities, and support organizations culminated in the launch of our first cohort of arborist apprentices. On December 9 apprentices from 5 different businesses and municipalities started their Related Learning Instruction at Front Range Community College.
Over the next 3 years each apprentice will complete 6,000 hours of on the job training under the guidance of a Journeyworker, as well as the 440 hours of related learning coordinated by the Tree Care Partnership and Front Range Community College. At the end of this skills-based learning program these folks will be Journeyworker Arborists. They will have earned a transportable credential that is recognized around the nation by organizations looking for Arborist employees to hire. They will also have zero new college debt, and be highly trained, experienced tree workers in our local work force.
By offering entry level candidates the opportunity of Registered Apprenticeship we show them, and their parents, in some cases, a career path and process to become a skilled, knowledgeable professional. All while earning a solid wage that increases with skills and abilities.
If you run an organization that hires Arborists, Apprenticeship is a solid recruiting tool and training process to help you meet your workforce needs.
If you are a field Arborist it means that you now have the opportunity to be recognized as a Journeyworker and hold a certificate of completion from a Registered Apprenticeship Program.
A group of us have been working together over the past several years as a Tree Care Sector Partnership. The Sector partnership is an industry group of private companies, municipal forestry departments and supporting organizations like ISA, TCIA the ALCC and the Colorado Community College System, working together to positively impact the workforce issues that face all of us as Arborists. Registered Apprenticeship has been a big focus for our partnership and is an awesome opportunity for us. We hope to expand this program by engaging with tree care companies and municipalities across the state.
Do you want to offer Apprenticeship at your company or municipality? Are you curious or interested in our larger effort effort to further strengthen our industry? Please join us for an upcoming meeting. We welcome your interest and support as we work to create opportunity for future Arborists and to help solve the workforce challenges of our industry.
For more info please reach out to our convenor Kate Strebe at firstname.lastname@example.org.