City of Dubuque Launches Public Works Registered Apprenticeship Program

Iowa Workforce Development Communications
For Immediate Release
Date: October 4, 2018
Contact: Katie Bahl

DUBUQUE –  The City of Dubuque Public Works Department is welcoming applications for a new, two-year, paid apprenticeship program designed to prepare participants for a successful career in public works and to create a more diverse and better qualified applicant pool for the public works department.

This new Registered Apprenticeship Program was developed by the City of Dubuque in partnership with Iowa Workforce Development, the local office of IowaWORKS, and the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship.  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.

Working with IowaWORKS, Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), and local union representatives, the City of Dubuque Public Works Department developed a registered apprenticeship program that meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Program. The program includes a required amount of structured and supervised on-the-job training and a required amount of classroom-related training and instruction completed over two years. NICC will provide the classroom training. The program is designed to provide the apprentice the education and opportunities necessary to develop the skills and knowledge to prepare them for the public works utility worker civil service test, a state requirement for the position.

“We are very proud to participate in the national apprenticeship program,” said City of Dubuque Public Works Director John Klostermann. “Despite numerous efforts, our department is faced with a shortage of diverse and qualified entry-level applicants. This program is designed to address that shortage and will provide participants with the education, skillset, and exposure needed for a successful career in today’s public works field.”

“Apprenticeship programs are a way for businesses to build and grow their own staff. In the City of Dubuque’s case, the apprentice may have the opportunity to advance into a full-time position within the public works department,” said Katie Bahl, business marketing specialist for IowaWORKS. She added that the public works apprenticeship is the 23rd program to be developed in Iowa under the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grants. 

The deadline to apply for the program is October 19, 2018. The public works apprenticeship program offers an hourly range of $17.79 to $18.87, a health insurance plan, and a tuition reimbursement program. The employment application and complete program description are available at

For additional information, please contact the City of Dubuque Personnel Office at 563.589.4125,, or at City Hall, 50 West 13th Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001-4805.  Women, minorities, veterans, and qualified persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

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

Businesses interested in learning more about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities can visit the website and complete a form to receive more information.  

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