August 5, 2021

For more information please contact:
Zenagui Brahim

This blog is the fifth in a monthly series brought to you by the America Works initiative. As a part of the MEP National Network’s goal of supporting the growth of small and medium-sized manufacturing companies, this series focuses on innovative approaches, and uncovering the latest trends in manufacturing workforce development.

As I discussed in my last post, there is no “magic worker tree” where small and medium-sized manufacturers can instantly grab workers and plug them into open positions. Rather, American manufacturing is better served by making a concerted investment in our current workforce, so workers feel valued, appreciated and understand they have a bright future in manufacturing.

To do that, we’re going to need to travel back in time and take a page out of the playbook of yesteryear – specifically, we’re going to need to rejuvenate apprenticeships in this country. Now, before you click back to cat videos and funny memes, hear me out. Just like modern manufacturing has come a long way from the factories of the past, so have modern apprenticeships. Here are four reasons your manufacturing company should take a serious look at registered apprenticeships in 2021 and beyond:

  1. You Have a Strong Team Behind You: In addition to your local MEP Center, which can tap into best practices in apprenticeships through America Works, the national nonprofit JFF’s Center for Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning  is an active and supportive partner in this area. They are currently contracted to register at least 750 new apprentices per year, with 50% coming from underrepresented populations (with a focus on women and people of color). Their resources include structures, curricula, how-to guides and even marketing materials. Companies can even receive incentive funding to assist with launching these apprenticeship programs! Working with JFF is a win for your company, a win for your workers and a win for your local community.
  2. Apprenticeship Improves Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Many potential manufacturing workers out there are from underrepresented communities, and they are leaving low-wage jobs with the hopes for a better future for themselves. A long-time restaurant or healthcare worker might have exactly the passion, dedication and commitment that a manufacturing business is looking for; they just need a chance and the career pathway that apprenticeship offers. If your company wants to make an impact in advancing social justice in this country, launching an apprenticeship program is a strong and bold move in that direction.
  3. Apprenticeship Works: The numbers speak for themselves. Ninety-seven percent of employer sponsors recommend apprenticeship programs, 91% of apprentices stay at the job where they’ve received training and employers receive an average of $1.47 of increased productivity for every dollar spent on apprenticeship. In short, lower turnover and more engaged employees are always a good thing.
  4. It’s About More Than Apprenticeship: While registered apprenticeship is great because of the structured training it offers for the individual, focusing on this area will actually strengthen your company across the board. For example, the formal mentorship required by apprenticeships could actually help all your employees. Creating new bonds to high schools and colleges could lead to all kinds of new employees, not just apprentices. Reviewing the hiring process will help selection and onboarding for every position and developing a more thoughtful approach to workforce – including better employment planning, training, and evaluation – helps management across the enterprise.

So, now that you’re inspired about apprenticeships, take a first step in this area. Read the new whitepaper by NJMEP that gives a full analysis of apprenticeships, including valuable ROI statistics that will help you sell this idea internally. Reach out to your local MEP Center to discuss what apprenticeship could bring to your company. Put your concerns on the table, because chances are good that a local partner – like your community college, state workforce board or your MEP Center – will take on that burden or alleviate that fear. Bringing apprenticeships back is the right move for American manufacturing, allowing us to stay competitive globally while supporting communities and workers locally.

Original article posted 7/28/2021 on

NH MEP Related Links

 About NH MEP
The NH MEP is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP system is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through MEP, manufacturers have access to more than 2,000 manufacturing and business “coaches” whose job is to help firms make changes that lead to greater productivity, increased profits and enhanced global competitiveness. For more information please visit or call 603-226-3200.


About NH MEP

New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership
172 Pembroke Road
Concord, NH  03301

Phone: 603-226-3200

The New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, disability, age, political affiliation or belief. This nondiscrimination policy encompasses the operation of all educational and training programs and activities. It also encompasses the employment of personnel and contracting for goods and services.

Press Releases

NH MEP Welcomes New Center Director, Tony Fernandez

WELCOME Tony Fernandez, new Center Director/President at NH MEP!

Grant for NH manufacturers seeks to strengthen domestic supply chain

A federal grant of $400,000 is directed to New Hampshire manufacturers to help them build a supply chain that relies more on local and national suppliers and less on foreigners companies. The grant will be administered by the NH Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NHMEP), a nonprofit organization with a mandate “to work with small and medium-sized manufacturers that need assistance in any way. The purpose behind that is to keep businesses here and to keep jobs in the United States.”

Greater Rochester Manufacturers Discuss Workforce Challenges and Seek Solutions from the State

For more information please contact: Cara Tracy, Marketing Manager at carat@nhmep.orgBy Cara Tracy, NH MEP | May 17, 2022 | Updated May 26, 2022 Rochester, NH – On two occasions this month, May 16 and May 25, Rochester’s Mayor, Paul Callaghan, welcomed and facilitated...

Building the Pipeline: A Discussion on the Manufacturing Workforce in the Monadnock Region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, March 15, 2022 For more information please contact: Zenagui Brahim President Keene, NH – On Tuesday, March 15, NH MEP President, Zenagui Brahim helped facilitate discussion among Keene area manufacturers. The event...

Key Takeaways from the 19th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit

The 19th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit was held virtually on Friday, October 22 with 156 attendees. Mike Mastergeorge, VP of Brazonics, opened the event and introduced Governor Chris Sununu’s video address highlighting the importance of the manufacturing sector to New Hampshire’s economy.