Hiring Hoosiers is a new initiative from RTV6 that works to connect Hoosiers to employment opportunities, career development resources, training programs and educational paths. In our Hiring Hoosiers reports we are taking a closer look at barriers to employment and things that get in the way of people getting the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. For more information, visit HiringHoosiers.com. See new stories weekdays at 6 a.m. on RTV6!
GREENWOOD — Thousands see the building off Interstate 65 every day, but what they don’t see is what people are building inside for their lives, their families, and their futures.
At the training center for the Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, people accepted into the apprentice program are able to earn while they learn.
Mitch Benson is among those who decided to leave his job at FedEx for a position that would be better for his family. He has a keen ability to work with his hands.
"If someone is looking for a career field and didn't go to college, I didn't go to college, this is something that I would say look into," Benson said. “Before I did this, I was making like $13 an hour now I'm in the $20’s and I'm not at my final raise and I still get two more raises and that's what I'm really working for."
Benson is a third-year apprentice with the Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters.
People accepted into the program are placed in a job, get training, and take college courses on site to earn their associate degree from Ivy Tech Community College. There is a $400 fee to cover the cost of college books. Initially, apprentices make at least $16 an hour, plus get healthcare benefits and an annuity.
The average salary for a floor coverer is $58,000 and up and for a carpenter and millwright is $63,000 and up. Millwrights work in the installation and maintenance of process and precision equipment. These are union connected jobs.
“If you have a passion for it, this is definitely you should look for," Benson said. "I like building stuff, I like working with my hands and taking care of stuff.”
The need for skilled labor and the ongoing retirements are pushing the IKORCC to ring the alarm. Jerry Burke, director of education for the IKORCC, said they need more people to apply and join the program.
"It's the best kept secret when you talk about apprenticeships," Burke said. "We need every walk of life as far as female, minority workers anybody that would be a good worker we want so that's one of our focal points right now to make sure that we could replace our retiring workforce.”
To learn more about the program and apply, you can call 317-807-5722.