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R. J. Corman Railroad Group yesterday announced a partnership with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet to create an apprenticeship program aimed at the recruitment and retention of new employees. The program will start early next year, as R. J. Corman and the Labor Cabinet develop a curriculum, company officials said in a press release.Recruitment efforts will begin at local high schools, but will also focus on U.S. military veterans. Once selected, an apprentice will work as a skilled journeyman to gain knowledge and experience. After completing the four-year apprenticeship, the apprentice will receive a journeyman certificate.The company's Railroad Group employs a shop staff with years of experience in machining, welding and fabrication. Another area with potential for the program is through R. J. Corman's growing Signaling company, which designs, builds and installs signal systems for the railroad industry.Although those areas will be the initial focus, the apprenticeship program is expected to grow and expand to different companies and positions within the R. J. Corman brand, company officials said."As a family owned, Kentucky-based business, we are pleased to work with the Department of Labor to continue to create opportunities for the citizens of the commonwealth," said Ed Quinn, president and chief executive officer of R. J. Corman Railroad Group. "We believe that by investing in people, we can contribute to the workforce development of our state."According to the Kentucky Department of Labor, a registered apprenticeship program consists of five key components: business involvement, structured on-the-job training, related instruction, rewards for skills gained and a nationally recognized credential for completing the apprenticeship."In Kentucky today, employers are facing a shortage of a skilled workforce," said Kentucky Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey. "Registered apprenticeships are the answer to this problem and businesses like R. J. Corman are reinforcing their commitment to develop and retain more highly skilled talent through these programs."
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