Christie Door Company Starts Overhead Door Installer Registered Apprenticeship Program

For Immediate Release
Date: January 16, 2019
Contact: Lacie Westendorf - 319-291-2705 ext. 41310
Email: lacie.westendorf@iwd.iowa.gov

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA – Christie Door Company in Cedar Falls and the IowaWORKS Center in Waterloo, together with the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship, launched an Overhead Door Installer Registered Apprenticeship Program.

A Registered Apprenticeship is employer-driven training combined with on-the-job learning and related classroom instruction. The program allows the Registered Apprentice to earn a paycheck from day one while learning. The Overhead Door Installer Registered Apprenticeship is a four-year program with the classroom training provided through Hawkeye Community College.

Brandon Davis, President of Christie Door Company, said the business decided to offer a Registered Apprenticeship Program to better train its workforce for the various skills required to install today’s complex garage doors and openers. The flexibility of a Registered Apprenticeship Program allows training standards to be developed specific to the business.

“Our industry is a very skilled industry that utilizes many pieces of different trades including carpentry, finish carpentry, building structure, complex mechanical skills, electrical, hydraulics, and even some programmable logic control,” Davis said. “We have always had guys that do certain areas well but we never have been able to get everyone skilled in all of the areas. This makes us very inefficient when scheduling jobs because a tech could have a call across the street but we can’t send them because they don’t have the specific skill needed to do that task.

“Also with the low unemployment we have in our area, we have had to go to the high schools and try to recruit young people right out of high school, many who have very little mechanical ability. So we decided to give them all the training. From simple tools to the complex electrical diagnoses necessary for this complex industry. There is a huge demand for skilled door people.”

Growing Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa is one of the goals of a grant received by Iowa Workforce Development from the U.S. Department of Labor. Davis said a Registered Apprenticeship provides training that leads to a U.S. Department of Labor certification that is recognized throughout the United States.

“We believe college isn’t the right choice for everyone. A Registered Apprenticeship demonstrates our commitment to their training. Our trade is a good way to make a living. Once you become a journeyman and get the U.S. Department of Labor certificate, you can take that anywhere in the country and have a job immediately,” Davis said. “Offering a Registered Apprenticeship demonstrates we are giving value to the people who come into our program. I feel it is helping us get better candidates and it helps sell the program to parents who thought college was the only path to a good paying job.”

Registered Apprenticeship Programs help recruit, develop a skilled workforce and retain talent. There are currently more than 1,000 apprenticeable occupations in industries that include energy, information technology, healthcare, financial services, transportation, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage preparation, and the building trades.

Businesses interested in learning more about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities can visit the earnandlearniowa.gov website and complete a form to receive more information. Job seekers can also fill out a form to learn about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa.

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