In light of a growing need for more skilled trade professionals, Anchor-Ventana Glass is launching a commercial glazing registered apprenticeship program in Round Rock—the first of its kind in Texas, according to a Jan. 7 Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area news release.

WSRCA, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Texas Workforce Commission, Williamson County, the city of Round Rock and the Round Rock Chamber celebrated the new program with a signing day ceremony Jan. 7. Anchor-Ventana Glass, located at 1609 Chisholm Trail Road, Ste. 100, Round Rock, specializes in "full-service residential and commercial glass design and installation," according to the company's website.

The now-registered apprenticeship program helps provide a pipeline of commercial glazing industry professionals, guiding them through hands-on work to full-time employment, per the release.

Apprenticeships, as defined by the Department of Labor, are opportunities where "individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential." Data reported by the DOL highlights that 94% of apprentices are employed in their selected industry following completion of their apprenticeship.

The Round Rock Chamber released a report,
"Apprenticeships: A Gateway to a Robust Regional Workforce,” in December 2018, which identified the city's shortage of skilled trade professionals and outlined potential means of creating a talent pipeline. The chamber said it worked with for-profit and nonprofit organizations to help inform its reporting process, while also interviewing local school districts' career and technical education programs and community and technical colleges.

The chamber highlighted three central goals following its reporting—to develop a regional apprenticeship coalition, a series of registered apprenticeships and a series of non-registered apprenticeships.

Industries utilizing the apprenticeship model include construction, manufacturing, health care, information technology, transportation and logistics, according to the release.