Tree Care Industry Association Awarded Maryland Apprenticeship Innovation Fund Grant
Kelly M. Schulz, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor announced March 8, 2017, that the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) received exclusive Federal funding to establish an Apprenticeship Innovation Fund (AIF). This Federal grant allows Maryland to provide incentives for innovative apprenticeship solutions for Maryland’s businesses.
Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) is pleased to announce that it has received $48,876 in funding from the DLLR. “TCIA will use this grant to address the shortage of skilled arborists in the tree care industry by sponsoring an arborist apprenticeship program,” says Brigitte Orrick, TCIA’s Director of Workforce Development. “It is just a small part of our nationwide Workforce Development Initiative, which coordinates with local tree care employers to create career pathways for aspiring arborists.” TCIA will create a non-traditional apprenticeship program to include up to 30 new registered apprentices this year, with the expectation to grow this number to a total of 50 individuals by 2020.
TCIA members and Maryland-based tree care employers began exploring registered apprenticeship as a workforce development solution in June 2016. TCIA estimates approximately 175-200 tree care jobs will become available in Maryland annually over the next five years due to worker attrition, industry growth, urbanization and community growth. While several businesses have partnered with TCIA to develop the program, three individuals have stepped forward as local champions to ensure the program aligns to Maryland Arborist Licensure.
“We have a very unique opportunity to partner with the State of Maryland, TCIA and local employers to bring the tree care profession to the forefront, giving all employers the opportunity to bring on board much-needed, entry-level employees with a qualified Apprenticeship program,” says Robert A. Mead CTSP, Vice President of Mead Tree & Turf Care, Inc. To further emphasize that point, Joshua Franz, CTSP, Branch Manager of SavATree Rockville, states, “There is a constant struggle to find inspired employees who want the necessary training needed to thrive in our industry. It's great to see TCIA working on a regional level to help coordinate these efforts with the State of Maryland to start this apprenticeship program.” Christopher Klimas, CTSP, mid-Atlantic Regional Operations Manager at The Davey Tree Expert Company, Inc., adds, “We believe the arborist apprenticeship program will open up a world of opportunities for people who previously may not have considered or even known about careers in tree care. We are looking forward to working with TCIA and the State to bring this program to Maryland.”
TCIA is partnering with the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) to offer related instruction. “CCBC is perfectly suited to build this apprenticeship program with TCIA. CCBC has a long history of involvement with skilled trades. We have decades of extensive experience partnering with Registered Apprenticeship organizations in Maryland, including thirteen different union and non-union organizations, as well as numerous individual companies for related technical instruction,” says Jay Bouis, CCBC’s Director of Technical Training for the Department of Continuing Education – Workforce Development. “CCBC has extensive experience providing student support structures to ensure the best possible outcome for workforce training programs.”
TCIA and CCBC will be hosting an apprenticeship meeting for businesses 1 – 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 25 at CCBC Hunt Valley, 11101 McCormick Road, Room 120C, Baltimore, MD 21031. To register for the meeting, please contact June Hibbs at email@example.com or register online at www.tcia.org and click on events.
About the Tree Care Industry Association
The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) is a 79-year-old public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture. It has more than 2,300 member tree care firms and affiliated companies who recognize stringent safety and performance standards and who are required to carry liability insurance. TCIA has the nation's only Accreditation program that helps consumers find tree care companies that have been inspected and accredited based on: adherence to industry standards for quality and safety; maintenance of trained, professional staff; and dedication to ethics and quality in business practices. TCIA also serves as the secretariat for the ANSI A300 series of Standards for Tree Care Management Operations (ANSI A300 Parts 1 through 10). A300 standards are developed by the A300 committee (ASC A300), and are available for review on TCIA.org.
Editors: If you would like additional information or digital photos, please contact TCIA via 800-733-2622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TCIA arborists, safety and business professionals are also available as sources for tree-related articles and issues: 800-733-2622 or email@example.com.
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