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Wisconsin workforce officials tout growth of apprenticeship programs

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's apprenticeship programs are growing by leaps and bounds.  

State workforce development officials say the numbers of apprenticeship students hired by businesses grew 31 percent during 2013.  

Department Secretary Reggie Newson says an improved economy has employers taking more advantage of the state's apprenticeship programs, so workers can have the right skills. He said there's been growth in construction, manufacturing, and service apprenticeships -- the best growth he's seen in three years.  

Newson says the unemployed and underemployed have also found the on the job apprenticeships to be a path to a good job.  

State apprenticeship standards' director Karen Morgan says those in the programs find that their incomes go up -- and by the time they complete the training, they're generally getting wages that can support families.  

Next Sunday through Tuesday, the workforce development agency will host the 26th annual state Apprenticeship Conference in Wisconsin Dells.