NH’s first Registered Carpentry Apprenticeship Program kicked off this spring with the inaugural class meeting at the Manchester Community College campus for orientation. The program welcomed two pre-apprentice students still in high school, and six apprentices working with North Branch Construction in Concord, NH. Carpentry Apprenticeship Students at MCC

The Carpentry Apprenticeship Program, sponsored by the Associated Builders and Contractors NH/VT and NH Home Builders Association, is designed to prepare individuals for their careers in construction.

Workforce development is one of the biggest challenges facing residential and commercial construction companies. According to a study by the National Center for Construction Education & Research, approximately 41% of the construction workforce will retire in the next 10 years. The average worker age in the construction industry is increasing at a faster rate than worker age for all US industries combined.

“NH is facing a critical shortage of skilled carpenters. The problem will persist and possibly get worse as the workforce begins to retire, unless we invest in developing future skilled tradesmen and women. Programs like the Registered Carpentry Apprenticeship are a vital first step,” says Jennifer Landon, vice president of education and workforce development for ABC NH/VT.

“The program has been a few years in the making,” says Landon. “During the development stage of the program, we consulted with industry partners to design a well-rounded curriculum that covers more than what we think of as traditional carpentry skills. Our Registered Carpentry Apprenticeship program includes modules of plumbing, HVAC, electrical safety, masonry, heavy equipment and estimating.”

Registered Carpentry ApprenticeshipApprentices will work with skilled carpenter mentors to complete 6,000 hours of on the job learning along with 455 hours of classroom training at Manchester Community College over three years, all while earning pay. Upon successful completion, carpenter apprentices earn the Registered Carpenter Certification, a nationally recognized credential from the US Department of Labor, as well as interim credentials from the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER).

Cam Beauchesne of Raymond is one of the newly hired apprentices. He says he chose carpentry because he likes building things and seeing the progression from the ground up. “I chose to join the carpenter apprenticeship program because I want to improve my skills and contribute more to my company,” says Beauchesne who works with North Branch Construction. Cam Beauchesne, Carpenter Apprentice “Working for North Branch has been awesome. Every day is different, and it makes it fun. Every co-worker I have come in contact with has been very pleasant to work with. We are all here to help one another and get the job done,” he says. His goal is to work towards becoming a safety director.

“North Branch Construction is excited about the carpenter apprenticeship opportunity available through the ABC NH/VT and NHHBA Carpenter Apprentice Program,” says Joseph H. Campbell, North Branch Construction President. “This program provides a comprehensive educational and training opportunity for anyone seeking a career as a professional carpenter. In addition, as an employer, it provides us with a clear understanding and confidence in the skills a Registered Carpenter brings to the job site every day.”

Anyone interested in getting involved with the Registered Carpentry Apprenticeship, either as an employer or an apprentice, please contact Apprenticeship NH to learn more, email Apprenticeship NH apprenticeshipusanh@ccsnh.edu or call 603-230-3527.