People touring a craft brewery
November 30, 2021

The New York State Department of Labor and SUNY Announce First of Its Kind Registered Apprenticeship Program

The New York State Department of Labor and SUNY Announce First of Its Kind Registered Apprenticeship Program
NYS DOL and SUNY Partner to Launch New Craft Brewer/Distiller Registered Apprenticeship Program
Frog Alley Brewing and Albany Distilling Company Have Signed on as Signatories and Will Provide On-the-Job Training
SUNY Schenectady County Community College Will Provide Related Courses

The New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) marked National Apprenticeship Week with a series of events across New York State to highlight the importance of apprenticeships as a proven pathway to high-paying, in-demand careers and as a vital tool for businesses to bolster their workforce without impacting production.

Commissioner Reardon closed out the tour by announcing a new Registered Apprenticeship Program for craft brewing and distilling. It’s the first apprenticeship program of its kind in New York State.

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “I am so pleased to welcome Frog Alley Brewing and Albany Distilling Company into the Registered Apprenticeship family. Great tradesmen and women aren’t born, they are trained. This program is designed to meet the growing demand of the craft brewing and distilling industry in New York State. It’s a win-win for everyone. Apprenticeships empower New Yorkers with the ability to earn while they learn, and employers receive highly skilled additions to their workforce who are trained to directly address the needs of their business.”

The strength of New York’s apprenticeship programs is a direct result of partners in government, business, education, organized labor, and training partners working together. Commissioner Reardon was joined today by SUNY Chancellor Dr. Jim Malatras, President of SUNY Schenectady Dr. Steady Moono, President and Founder of Frog Alley Brewing JT Pollard, Master Brewer at Frog Alley Brewing Rich Michaels, Founder and CEO of Albany Distilling Company John Curtin, and President and CEO at Center for Economic Growth Mark Eagan for the signing of the signatory agreement solidifying the new apprenticeship program.

SUNY Chancellor Dr. Jim Malatras said, “Expanding apprenticeship programs are essential in filling critical employment gaps in high-demand industries while developing significant pathways to long-term careers with good pay. The partnership with Frog Alley Brewing and Albany Distilling is doing just that by establishing the state’s first craft brewer and distillery apprenticeship program in a growing industry. I want to thank the State Labor Department, SUNY Schenectady Community College and Frog Alley for their collaborative vision in developing this new program that will no doubt yield real job opportunities and business expansion and productivity in this new and exciting field. SUNY stands ready and willing to continue to expand apprenticeship opportunities across New York State.”

Architect, developer and owner of the project and President of Frog Alley Brewing JT Pollard said, “Hosting SUNY Schenectady’s Brewery, Distillery and Confectionary programs is an honor for our team. Together we are providing hands-on training, creating a pipeline of future employees for local businesses.”

Founder and CEO of Albany Distilling Company John Curtin said, “This is an incredible step for small business in New York State, and another reason it's the best place in the country for craft beverages. An industry isn't sustainable without a workforce, and this program ensures craft beverages will be a viable and important part of our economy for years to come.”

The Center for Economic Growth will provide sponsorship for the program. Frog Alley Brewing and Albany Distilling Company will provide on-the-job training, and SUNY Schenectady will provide related classroom instruction. The Brewer/Distiller Registered Apprenticeship Program is a 20-month program with over 3,000 required hours of training, which includes a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction/coursework.

Video of today’s remarks and tour can be found here.

Video of the Brewer/Distiller Apprenticeship Class is available here.

New York State has one of the largest apprenticeship programs in the country. There are currently 18,386 registered apprentices being trained in various skilled trades in 975 programs powered by 639 sponsors across New York State. Employer participation in apprenticeships continues to grow, with 33 new programs and 93 new employers in the last year alone. Apprenticeship offers a critical pathway for New Yorkers to access quality job opportunities through hands-on learning and direct work experience in both the construction and non-construction trades. Apprenticeships also provide the pathway to a family-sustaining wage and benefits, and quality training throughout one’s career. Apprentices receive intensive, hands-on training to learn the skills they need to succeed on the job, while still collecting a paycheck to support themselves and their families.

Earlier this month, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, the NYS DOL was also proud to facilitate the signing of signatory agreements with Indium Corporation in Clinton, and GSE Dynamics in Hauppauge for their new apprenticeship programs.

Ross Bernston, President and Chief Operating Officer of Indium Corporation said, “The New York State Apprenticeship Program is a powerful resource for Indium Corporation to continue to attract and develop our talented team of engineering technicians, quality technicians, engineers, metallurgists, chemists, and many more to support the growing needs of the advanced manufacturing industry, especially semiconductors. We are so excited and very proud to begin preparing our first cohort of apprentices.”

Anne Shybunko-Moore, President and CEO of GSE Dynamics, Inc. said, “GSE Dynamics has been a strong regional voice on the topic of workforce training for many years, and the progress New York is making in terms of implementing Apprenticeship programs to support our manufacturing supply chain is critical. Long Island must continue to build the partnerships between industry and educators to ensure we modify our curriculums to maintain our position as leaders in the advanced manufacturing arena.”

Commissioner Reardon had the opportunity to visit and tour large and small businesses from across the state throughout the month of November, and watch New York apprentices in action. Here is a list of the other places and partners Commissioner Reardon and/or members of her staff visited:

  • Rock Tavern – Northeast Carpenters Training Fund Local 279 Training Center
  • Lake View - IUOE Local 17
  • West Seneca - U.A. Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 22
  • Rochester – Monroe Community College Forward Center
  • Rochester - PEKO Precision Products, Inc.
  • Clay - Central New York Electrical Training Alliance
  • Phoenix - Majestic Mold and Tool
  • Clinton - Indium Corporation
  • Schenectady - Schenectady ARC
  • Brentwood - Suffolk County CC Workforce Development Technology Center
  • Hauppauge - GSE Dynamics, Inc.
  • New York City - Nontraditional Employment for Women
  • Poughkeepsie - Council of Industry
  • Newburgh - Laborers Local 17
  • Schenectady - Frog Alley Brewing

Watch highlights from the tour here.

At the NYS DOL, we are laser-focused on ensuring New York State Registered Apprenticeship programs are providing high-caliber programs, graduating apprentices with top-quality training, and are EXPANDING to meet demand; there have been 21 new trades approved in 2021. The type of training that apprenticeships provide is going to be a key as we address the shifting needs and the new world of work created by the pandemic.

New Yorkers and businesses owners interested in apprenticeship programs can learn more by visiting our Apprenticeship Page.