Apprentice Programs Help Fill Vacancies and Retain Employees

Kent State University shares best practices for starting and running an apprenticeship program.   January 11, 2023

By Dan Weltin, Editor-in-Chief

Learn how an apprenticeship program can help facility managers fill entry level maintenance positions. The training apprentices receive helps retain them because they are learning skills that will advance their career.  

Kent State University has 26 building maintenance mechanic positions. These employees perform preventive maintenance and are first responders to problems. Unfortunately, half of these positions are vacant. With the tough labor market, a creative to recruit and retain frontline employees was needed.  

The answer was an apprentice program that allows new and existing employees the chance to learn building maintenance skills. The program is especially attractive to Kent State’s custodians because cleaning is a lower paying position than maintenance. Employees are given the opportunity to be trained for a promotion. 

In this video, Dan Weltin, editor-in-chief for the facility market, sits down with Doug Pearson, vice president of facilities planning and operations at Kent State University — and 2022 Facility Champion Award winner — to discuss the university's apprenticeship program and how it has helped retain workers. 

In this video you’ll learn: 

  • An overview of Kent State University's apprenticeship program: 0:20 
  • How the apprenticeship program helped retain workers at Kent State University: 1:30 
  • Where to begin when starting an apprenticeship program: 2:00 
  • Advice for managers running an apprenticeship program: 3:35 

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