Apprenticeship: Helping Build the People Who Build

What do Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Sir Ian McKellen and Stella McCartney have in common? Each of those extraordinary people started their careers as apprentices.

Though often overlooked today, apprenticeships are great entry points for people trying to break into the construction industry. They’re good for businesses, too, as they seek to develop employee loyalty and create a steady flow of skilled workers.

Train on the job as an apprentice.

ABC Maine started its apprentice program in 2021 to provide on the job training and related classroom training. There are myriad benefits of training to be an apprentice with one of ABC Maine member businesses. And there are also a number of benefits to a business that invests in ABC Maine’s program.

Why Be an Apprentice?

Expert instructors teach apprentices theory, safety and skill trade fundamentals in a controlled classroom environment. With on-the-job training, apprentices get their hands dirty (literally), apply their knowledge and skills, and improve and learn by doing.

Another benefit is that participants don’t accrue any student loan debt by joining the apprenticeship program. According to, there are about 183,000 student borrowers living in Maine with an average of $33,352 in student debt. Participants in the apprenticeship program, by contrast, are paid to learn and work.

After completing the program, participants can take their careers in many directions, aided by access to the ABC Maine network, which includes some of the most dedicated construction professionals in the state. The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) is a national foundation backed by ABC National which provides the learning series modules used in the classroom training part of the apprenticeship programs.

To enroll, contact Shari Johnston, ABC Maine’s Workforce Development Coordinator, at (207) 560-7573 or

Why Train Maine Apprentices?

For sponsoring companies, this program is a great way to reduce the cost of high labor turnover. In fact, employees who have participated in the apprenticeship program show high morale and loyalty when training and working, often staying to work with the company they learn from when the program ends.

In return for sponsoring, ABC Maine member companies also get a diversified, flexible and dedicated workforce and a larger pool of employees with unique skills. Additionally, there’s often an increase in productivity because employees in a structured training and apprenticeship program are more motivated.

Employees who have participated in the apprentice program show high morale and loyalty.

Overall, we believe there are four main company benefits to joining our apprenticeship program: company loyalty, building a continuous pipeline of skilled workers, strengthening your employer brand; and increased productivity.

Program Specifics

ABC Maine offers a building construction craft laborer and electrical apprenticeship program. Apprentices receive their work experience under the supervision of their journey technician and foreperson.

According to Tradesmen International, every 1,000 college graduates fight for 600 jobs in their fields, while every 1,000 trade graduates have about 6,000 opportunities waiting for them. Joining the ABC Maine apprenticeship program will give employees a head start on their career in the trades.

ABC Maine students are the future of the construction industry. The organization wants to connect with the schools, educators and counselors to educate them on what ABC has to offer as an association, and it wants to raise awareness and highlight the benefits of creating a relationship with ABC Maine.

To view a recent presentation on the benefits of apprenticeship and available ABC Maine Scholarships, click here

For more information on the apprenticeship program, click here or call Workforce Development Coordinator Shari Johnston at 207-560-7573.

For more information on joining ABC Maine, click here or call Membership Director Tami Staples at 207-620-6561.