Stephens & Smith Construction Co., Inc. today announced their new registered apprenticeship program; Concrete Craftsman. Creating opportunities for seven of their team members. Stephens & Smith Construction Company is now the first and only merit-based concrete subcontractor with a federally approved apprenticeship program in the State of Nebraska.

“This is proof of the commitment Stephens & Smith has in regard to workforce development,” said Flatwork Division VP Bob Irwin. “Apprenticeship offers job seekers and current employees the chance to learn new skills while earning a wage. When you invest in your workforce, you also increase recruitment and decrease turnover. Ultimately, giving taxpayers and private owners a superior product.”

This new program includes a task proficiency checklist such as general competencies for concrete finishing, site work, formwork, placing & finishing, and repairs. The curriculum also incorporates 297 hours of technical related classroom instruction over a 2-year time frame.

Apprenticeships are full-time careers that include on-the-job training and classroom instruction, allowing apprentices to earn while they learn. The official signing ceremony was held August 8th where seven apprentices signed their agreements. Governor Pete Ricketts attended the ceremony and congratulated Stephens & Smith Construction Company for their efforts. “Congratulations to Stephens & Smith for developing this apprenticeship program”, said Governor Pete Ricketts, “They understand the importance of investing in their employees. We need employers investing in their workforce all across the State of Nebraska.”

With unemployment rates at an all-time low, finding skilled tradesmen becomes challenging. “It’s time to advance the way we train and hire our workforce,” said Business Development Manager Jereme Montgomery, “we need to increase opportunities for our employees to be successful. Apprenticeship programs like our Concrete Craftsman, will open doors for many employees.”