Local NewsRaising The Bar


Apprenticeships an option for students to help secure and fill high-paying jobs

Posted at 3:08 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 16:57:03-04

Thousands of high paying jobs across the country and in Southern Nevada are unfilled simply because there is a shortage of skilled laborers.

Apprenticeship dates back to the Middle Ages, but in 2018, what Pierce Hollander is doing to build his future seems like a non-traditional path for a 23-year-old.

"I would rather work than go to school," said Hollander.

Archie Walden is a training director for the Southern Nevada Laborers Local 872.

"You go back to the '70s and '80s when the trades were a big thing. Construction was booming!" 

Back then Walden said people grew up knowing a lot more about skilled trades because their parents and grandparents may have worked those types of jobs. Sometime after that, he said parents stopped seeing skilled labor as an option for their children.

"As they became more affluent they start telling their kids  I don't want you to work as hard as I do. Go to college," said Walden. "Now they are starting to find out my kid can make the same amount of money I can without all the college debt that goes along with it." 

A Foothill High School graduate, Hollander is paid $14 to $16 an hour learning construction. He stands to make much more once he completes the program. Salaries can be as high as six figures with overtime in some trade positions. 

"We have 401(k) and all the benefits," he said. 

But being an apprentice doesn't mean college is completely off the table. 

Craig Von Collenberg is the director of apprenticeship studies at College of Southern Nevada. A former sheet metal worker himself, he spent Tuesday morning recruiting at Arbor View High School in Las Vegas.

CSN has 17 apprenticeship partners that give students the option to earn college credits that go toward a certification or associate degree.

"They are not just stuck in the traditional college route," Von Collenberg said. "There are other ways to go through college and have a great career. And be happy and successful without a master's degree or doctorate degree." 

What is Raising The Bar?

Together with parents, educators, business and community leaders, 13 Action News will lead the discussion on improving education in Southern Nevada. We will connect families with solutions that empower our community to build a foundation for a successful future. If you have a story idea, email us at raisingthebar@ktnv.com.