Governor Steve Bullock and UM President Seth Bodnar were at the Missoula College Carpentry Shop on South Avenue on Wednesday for the introduction of the apprenticeship program's annual report.

“In 2017, we pushed for, and I was fortunate to sign legislation to create a tax credit for employers who hire new apprentices to further grow the program and also add quality workers to the workforce,” said Bullock. “Beginning in 2018 employers have been able to take advantage of a $750 tax credit per apprentice and a $1500 tax credit if that apprentice is a veteran.”

A year after graduation, apprentices earned an average wage of $58,000 which is nearly $11,600 higher than the statewide average wage,” he said. “These folks who finish their apprenticeship and go on to earn an average wage is 67,488 a year which is nearly $25,000 more than the statewide average.

Bullock detailed some eye-popping statistics on the amount of money that an apprentice can make while working in the building trades.

“The report that we're releasing today underscores that a year after graduation, apprentices earned an average wage of $58,000 which is nearly $11,600 higher than the statewide average wage,” he said. “These folks who finish their apprenticeship and go on to earn an average wage is 67,488 a year which is nearly $25,000 more than the statewide average.”

Bullock then said those graduates who apprentice in Montana tend to make their homes here, as well.

“The report shows that 84% of apprentices who graduated before 2015 were still working for a Montana employer five years later, really helping retain the skilled workers here in our state,” he said. “Apprenticeships overall increased by an average about 13% per year between 2013 and 2019, and so far this year 530 new apprentices have enrolled and 50 new business sponsors have come on board.”

In addition, the share of women in apprenticeships has increased over the past five years, from 4.4 percent in 2015 to 21.3 percent in 2019.

Read the annual report here.