Custom Equipment LLC has announced its partnership with GPS Education Partners, allowing the company to build industry talent pools and future workforces using a unique youth apprenticeship model designed by GPSEd. This model has shown proven success for hundreds of Wisconsin businesses since its launch in manufacturing almost 20 years ago. The apprenticeship model will match motivated student workers with promising technical careers and expose them to career pathways in the manufacturing industry.
“The manufacturing industry is facing a growing skills gap driven by an aging workforce, the rising employability gap, and youths who are just not aware of careers in the industry,” said Terry Dolan, Custom Equipment president and CEO. “Partnering with GPS Education Partners will help accelerate manufacturing careers among the young student population by providing a future workforce to help fill the industry’s needs.”
Participating students will gain exposure and experience to career pathways in the program through rotations at the company’s West Bend facility working as a general laborer. This allows students to explore different work environments and business cultures, as well as take on different roles and responsibilities, all while earning their high school diploma.
Students can also emerge as leaders by learning self-awareness, decision-making skills, self-management and teamwork. They will have opportunities to demonstrate those skills in their apprenticeship placement as well as in the community by participating in service-learning projects.
“The growing skilled labor shortage has left us in need of skilled workers,” said Sarah Abfall, Custom Equipment vice president of human resources. “We are excited to partner with GPS Education Partners to have an active role in solving the problem.”
“We’ve found the GPS work-based learning model to be successful and repeatable,” said Stephanie Borowski, GPS Education Partners CEO and president. “We represent a broad community of educators and business leaders who believe in the transformation of education and training to develop our future workforce. This collaborative work will prepare America’s youth for success in technical careers of the future and help rebuild the foundation of the middle class. We are excited to welcome Custom Equipment to the GPSEd family.”