TRINITY — AmSkills, a program established to create a European-style apprenticeship training program, has seen its largest class ever and is preparing to go mobile.
The AmSkills Mobile Innovation Station was recently put into action serving Pasco County.
The American Manufacturing Skills Initiative, the program’s full name, is a nonprofit public-private initiative operating in Pasco, Pinellas and Hernando counties. It was created to help fill the need for employees with technical skills in the region.
According to AmSkills Executive Director Tom Mudano, the objective of the MIS is to teach people about the true nature of the manufacturing industry. That education helps to dispel concerns about career trajectory, stability, security and pay.
“AmSkills believes if more people understand the true facts about the manufacturing industry, a channel to build a talented workforce will be created and the skill gaps will begin to decrease,” Mudano stated in a recent press release.
AmSkills plans to take the MIS to homeless shelters, women’s shelters, veteran’s organizations, schools, and low-income areas to offer manufacturing demonstrations and training in a variety of trades.
The MIS is equipped with portable workbenches, chairs, tools and materials to provide interactive workshops to individuals facing employment barriers and will be used to help recruit youth, adults, veterans and others into AmSkills training programs, giving them the opportunity for meaningful employment.
The MIS was made possible through a gift from ophthalmic surgeon and community developer James Gills and wife Heather, a grant from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, and others including Career Source-Pasco Hernando, the Florida Department of Education, BlackJack Media Group, Acme on the Go, and the City of St. Petersburg.
Mudano also reported the latest Adult Pre-Apprentice Class was the largest since the program began with 13 students enrolled.
“A high percentage of our students are coming from referrals, which speaks highly to the awareness and visibility of AmSkills in the community,” he said.
A new class will begin Sept. 8 and a $100,000 grant will provide the space for 16 students to participate in the three-month training program.
For more information or to register for the class, go to AmSkills.org or call 727-301-1282, ext. 126.
Those who are interested in sponsoring an event with the MIS or to make a contribution can contact Mudano the same phone number.