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New apprenticeship gives people local career opportunities

premier technology welder
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Premier Technology Inc. is accepting applications for a four year fabrication apprenticeship that pays for schooling and training.

BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - There's a new option for people looking for a career in southeast Idaho.

Premier Technology, based out of Blackfoot, is accepting applications for a new fabrication apprenticeship that teaches more than just welding.

People accepted into the program will be official Premier Technology employees, working full time with pay and schooling included.

“These are high paying jobs, even though they’re entry level, they start out making $12 to $14 an hour while you're learning and being trained,” said Chief Business Officer, Doug Sayer.

Within a few years, some employees could make up to $40 and $50,000 a year.

Apprentices will take classes--paid for by Premier Technology--through the College of Eastern Idaho and Idaho State University. They'll also receive hands-on training led by experienced craftsmen and Premier Technology experts.

“(Apprentices will) immediately be contributing and adding value to the projects that we’re working on,” Sayer said.

After graduating the four year program, apprentices will receive a Journeyman Certification, which is recognized by Federal and State Department’s of Labor. The apprenticeship is not yet accredited by the DOL, according to Premier Technology spokesperson, Ashleigh Sayer-Frederick.

Applicants "must be willing to commit to several years of employment with Premier Technology as part of the apprenticeship program," the application reads.

Premier Technology employs more than 300 people, with more than half of the employees working in production. But Sayer said they're still understaffed.

“If we hired all the students out of the College of Eastern Idaho and Idaho State University, it wouldn’t be enough to support our needs,” Sayer said.

Employees are in high demand across the industry, Sayer said.

“If you look at the demand for welders and fabricators in the industry, I think most companies are going to have to adopt what we’re doing just to fill the gap,” Sayer said.

Premier Technology plans to admit between 20-24 people into the program each year, up to 70 students.

You can view the apprenticeship application here.

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Emma Iannacone

Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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