MJSA Apprenticeship Program Gets New Designation From Dept. of Labor
It could mean federal funding opportunities and tax credits for jewelers who adopt the curriculum.
It was approved as National Guidelines Standard (NGS) by the Office of Apprenticeship, which recognizes the program as a model for developing bench jeweler programs.
The MJSA program, overseen by its Education Foundation, provides 50 weeks of curriculum that gives step-by-step guidance on how to teach apprentices bench jeweler skills, which jewelers can use as a foundation for developing their own apprenticeship programs.
The new designation “provides a pathway for jewelers who adopt [MJSA’s] curriculum to seek national or state registration and access to benefits such as technical assistance and tax credits,” explained MJSA.
When combined with a training component, like classroom instruction or in-house technical training, jewelers can—thanks to the NGS designation—register their apprenticeship programs on a state or national level, which could make them eligible for benefits like federal funding opportunities, free technical assistance and, in select states, tax credits.
“MJSA members continue to ask us for help in finding and training workers, and this certification will help them in creating apprenticeships that attract and train the talent they need,” said Steven Cipolla, chair of the MJSA Education Foundation.
“The MJSA curriculum allows jewelers to register their own programs more easily, since it’s recognized by the Office of Apprenticeship and state apprenticeship agencies.”
Jewelry designer and instructor Nanz Aalund, who wrote “A Jeweler’s Guide to Apprenticeships,” created the MJSA curriculum. The program is supported by a grant from the JCK Industry Fund.
Those who complete the program receive certification by MJSA as an Advanced Jewelry Apprentice.
The curriculum is part of a training package that also includes assessment tests, a guide to creating a culture that promotes employee retention, and a list of suppliers offering benches and related equipment.
Participants also have access to free digital texts and curated videos through the MJSA Online Library.
The MJSA Mentor & Apprenticeship Training Package is free to those in the industry.
To learn more about the program, visit the MJSA website or contact Rich Youmans, executive director of the MJSA Education Foundation, at 1-800-444-6572, ext. 3025, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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