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UA Facilities Management’s Apprenticeship Program Offers Job Opportunities

The University of Arkansas Facilities Management Department apprenticeship program provides job opportunities in various trades.

Current Facilities Management apprentices from top left: Thomas Alvey and Marcus Bell; bottom: Kendall Davis and Jason Easter.
Current Facilities Management apprentices from top left: Thomas Alvey and Marcus Bell; bottom: Kendall Davis and Jason Easter.

Since the program was established in 1973, more than 100 employees have completed the program and gained their journeyman license. Many of these employees, who often started the program after high school, continued their careers with the university upon completion of the program and now serve as supervisors and construction coordinators for the campus.

The program offers apprenticeships in the electrical, HVAC, plumbing and locksmith fields. Apprentices, in addition to on-the-job training, must attend a total of 144 class hours per year at a local trade school. Once employees have reached their class and job training hours, they can take the necessary tests to become a journeyman in their field.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 94 percent of apprentices retain employment after completing an apprenticeship program.

There are currently four employees going through the apprenticeship program, including Thomas Alvey. Alvey was initially hired as a summer employee while a student at the university, and he has since joined Facilities Management as an electrical apprentice.

“I worked with the electric shop guys before I started [the program],” Alvey said. “I realized how much fulfillment I get from working with my hands on physical projects, so I applied to the program.”

Alvey said he had not realized how diverse the electrical field was before starting his apprenticeship, but he is happy to be moving forward and is thankful for the help from others.

“I was accepted into the apprenticeship program in September 2018, and I am exceedingly happy where I am now,” he said. “I work with some great people over here, and they are always willing to help and teach.”

The apprenticeship program is available to anyone who is at least 18 years old, has a high school diploma or GED, and holds a valid driver’s license. Classroom training is available in Fayetteville, Springdale and Farmington. For more information about the program, contact Kelley Sharp at 575-5470 or kesharp@uark.edu.

About the University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines.

The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities.

Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.