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The Greater Cincinnati Apprenticeship Council hosts National Apprenticeship Week from Nov. 14-20. / Image courtesy of Great Cincinnati Apprenticeship Council

Sidestep College Debt And Get A Head Start In Life With An Apprenticeship

Ah, college... Pretty expensive, right? Yep.

But it’s an American institution! A cultural rite of passage! An introduction to the world of gainful employment! Surely you must go to college!

But (blasphemy alert) not everyone needs to. Not everyone needs to go into debt to have a career. Not everyone needs eight semesters of classroom work before they’re ready to earn a living.

The fact is apprenticeships are the best route to the work force for many people - perhaps even you. They allow you to earn money immediately out of high school, work with your hands, and learn invaluable skills you’ll use your entire life.

Sound alright? Then circle the week of November 14-20 on your calendar - that’s when the Greater Cincinnati Apprenticeship Council hosts National Apprenticeship Week!

(Learn more at www.EarnAndLearn.com. Or keep reading. Completely up to you.)

What does an apprenticeship mean? It means as soon as you graduate high school you’re learning a trade in the classroom and at a job site, making a great wage, earning benefits, and getting college credit.

Is it just for high schoolers? Nope. College graduates or those with some college credits can begin an apprenticeship and get student loan deferment. Veterans can use their GI Bill money while in apprenticeship for a monthly stipend. And individuals with past applicable experience in the trade they are entering can get advanced standing.

What about this National Apprenticeship Week thing? Chris Fridel, Director of the Greater Cincinnati Apprenticeship Council, describes it as a week of open-house events and info sessions at Cincinnati-area training centers. Basically, it’s an opportunity for the union skilled trades apprenticeships to tell their story and for students and future workers to learn about the real-world advantages of apprenticeships, and what it takes to apply to the one of your choice.

(Here’s a link to the schedule.)

What kind of apprenticeship is for you? By visiting EARNandLEARN.com you will see information on 20+ union skilled-trades apprenticeships in the Greater Cincinnati area. Depending on what your interests are and what you can see yourself doing for a career, you can pick a skilled trade and a career that you can be passionate about. You may have an opportunity to jump right into an apprenticeship and work for one of the hundreds of contractors represented by the National Electrical Contractors Association, the Mechanical Contractors Association of Cincinnati, or the Construction Advancement Program - all big league players in their field, all dedicated to apprenticeships that focus on solid teaching and worker safety.

Sound like a good deal? That’s because it is. So remember: November 14-20. Put it in the calendar. You can thank me when you don’t receive that student loan payment in the mail.

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Want to learn more about National Apprenticeship Week? Head to their website.

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