Long viewed as gateways into the workforce, apprenticeships are turning heads in a new way. As the 2016 Presidential cycle gears up, candidates such as Hillary Clinton, Senator Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and Bernie Sanders are proposing job growth plans centered around apprenticeships that are employer-oriented.

Apprenticeship programs within the concrete production industry gain a new workforce that can be trained in production and new technologies. Apprentices can then go on to have lasting careers in concrete production, adapting to new technologies quickly as the industry changes. Programs like this can offer students in high school with an alternative track to college, creating a strong vocational workforce in America.

This is part of a nationwide trend with rising college costs, whereon average students who graduate from a four-year private college in 2014 left campus with $31,000 in debt with a starting salary of $45,000 a year. Whereas those at the Apprenticeship School in Norfolk, Va. come out nearly debt free and can make nearly $10,000 more at their first job.

Apprenticeships could offer the construction industry a valuable workforce where they can train new employees. It also offers individuals an opportunity to get into the middle class without a college degree. 

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