Lozier and Metro assist put together younger Omahans for trades jobs

A decade in the past, officers at Lozier Corp. in Omaha noticed an issue on the horizon.

Staff have been retiring sooner than the corporate may change them.

Their answer, uncommon on the time in Omaha, was to offer full-ride scholarships to college students pursuing a profession within the trades at Metropolitan Group School.

The corporate gave the scholars real-world expertise by way of a paid internship at Lozier and employed them full time upon completion of this system. Sponsored college students earn an affiliate diploma from Metro’s Industrial and Industrial Trades Program.


Kristen Andersen, 18, a 2022 Omaha Benson Excessive College graduate, takes aside some equipment within the upkeep store at Lozier final week.

Heading into their eleventh yr of this system, Lozier officers say the Sponsorship for the Trades Program has been successful. This system, they are saying, has supplied a 3rd of the corporate’s upkeep and power and die technicians whereas giving highschool graduates a cost-free path to what could be a profitable profession.

Persons are additionally studying…

Lozier’s answer blazed a path that different corporations have adopted, mentioned Jim Champion, pathway coordinator for Metropolitan Group School.

“It’s wonderful how far it’s are available within the period of time since Lozier sort of paved the trail for everyone following them,” Champion mentioned. “However there’s many corporations now which are doing this fashion of sponsorship program, and it’s rising day by day.”

There at the moment are 55 corporations that supply some form of sponsorship program at Metro, he mentioned.

The businesses decide the specifics, such because the courses a pupil must take, whether or not it’s full or part-time, and whether or not the scholar should earn a certificates or an affiliate diploma.


The manufacturing facility ground at Lozier. Heading into their eleventh yr of this system, Lozier officers say the Sponsorship for the Trades Program has been successful. 

Hannah Bolte, director of selling and communications at Lozier, mentioned that over the last decade, curiosity has risen within the trades as a viable choice to a four-year faculty.

“There are profitable profession alternatives which will or is probably not broadly recognized,” Bolte mentioned. “I positively assume that tide is popping. Children are extra , they usually’re studying extra about it and taking it residence to Mother and Dad, who’re open-minded to this, particularly as soon as they see that it’s viable, it pays effectively, it’s a regular job.”

Lozier’s sponsorship college students begin out at $18.81 an hour, she mentioned. After completion of the 2 fundamental core courses, they transfer to GV Apprentice pay of $26.44 an hour. Upon commencement from this system, they’re provided a GV Journeyperson position beginning at $28.56 an hour relying on shift.

Past that, they’ve alternatives to maneuver up the pay scale to earn as a lot as $34.71 to $38.79 an hour, relying on the shift, she mentioned.

Adam Thompson, 28, was within the top notch sponsored by Lozier. He’s a instrument and die technician on second shift.


Adam Thompson works within the instrument and die store at Lozier final week. Thompson, 28, was within the first trades class sponsored by Lozier.

He and his group construct a lot of the tooling within the plant — that’s, equipment that’s used to supply the merchandise that exit to prospects.

Headquartered in Omaha, Lozier manufactures merchandise utilized by retailers in shops and warehouses, together with shelving and storage methods and checkout methods.

Thompson’s dad, a diesel mechanic, had taught him to work along with his fingers and inspired him to think about the trades.

Nearing commencement, the opposite college students in his highschool class in Logan, Iowa, have been getting faculty scholarships to massive faculties. He wasn’t certain about his future, however he knew he didn’t wish to go into debt.


Adam Thompson provides chopping fluid to a drill within the instrument and die store at Lozier.

The Lozier program was too good to go up, he mentioned.

It proved to be a good selection, he mentioned.

“I used to be capable of purchase a home at solely 23 years previous,” he mentioned. “I’ve three pretty-new vehicles.”

He doesn’t stress about cash. The job is secure.

“In reality, I’ve a spouse at residence who’s capable of be a stay-at-home mother, deal with the youngsters, as a result of I’ve this job that pays me so effectively,” he mentioned.

Kristen Andersen, 18, a 2022 Omaha Benson Excessive College graduate, is at present a pupil in this system.

She heard about this system at an Omaha Public Faculties profession truthful.

“I used to be stressing myself out a bit bit, making use of for scholarships whereas making an attempt to determine precisely what I wished to do, however this type of made every part fall into place,” Andersen mentioned.


Kristen Andersen works on equipment final week within the upkeep store at Lozier.

She’ll graduate from Metro subsequent spring with a level in electrical mechanical upkeep. She’ll be engaged on machines, ensuring they maintain operating, troubleshooting to maintain manufacturing going.

She, too, is a hands-on particular person. Lots of her relations work within the trades — mechanics, plumbers, electricians, sand blasters, painters, welders.

“So rising up I acquired to expertise a bit little bit of every part,” she mentioned.

Her relations within the trades careers at all times appeared rather less burdened about work, she mentioned.

She, too, was comfortable to keep away from pupil mortgage debt.

Every year, Lozier shines a highlight on the scholars coming into this system. College students are honored at a “signing day” occasion placed on by the school in a fashion much like athletes signing to a four-year college.

For producers, partnering with two-year schools is “the way in which of the long run,” Bolte mentioned.

“It’s important to assume in another way, and partnering with training establishments like MCC is a approach to safe a pipeline, not only for folks coming in, however to develop people who already give you the results you want, in the event that they’re excited about possibly pursuing a distinct profession subject.”

Bolte mentioned folks typically ask what occurs if the sponsored workers find yourself leaving for one more alternative after fulfilling their contract.

“Our response is at all times we see it as an funding in folks, an funding within the trade,” she mentioned.

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