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Omaha's first apprentice program project almost finished

Posted at 1:44 PM, Nov 15, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It’s National Apprentice Week and in Omaha, the first project done under the new Apprentice Utilization Program is almost finished.

Hawkins Construction hosted Mayor Stothert and industry leaders to celebrate apprentices and the 42nd Street Bridges Project on Tuesday.

Hawkins says that with apprentice labor the project has been built at twice the target rate set by the city and it benefits apprentices entering the construction industry by offering paid classroom time, field training and work experience.

When Hawkins apprentices finish the program, they’re offered a full-time position with the company and a credential from the Labor Department.

“As a family business, to be able to bring people in, particularly younger people, who can be treated like the broader extended family, and we know how much we care about them, for them to be in a system that they know that they're cared for here, but they also have the opportunity to earn more and better than they would anywhere else, that's really significant,” said Chris Hawkins, president and CEO of Hawkins Construction.

The site of the new 42nd Street Bridge is expected to open in the next few weeks.

The goal of the project is to replace the aging infrastructure connecting south Omaha to the I-80 corridor.

Construction started in March of last year.

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