Skip to content
Impact Stories

Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Registered Apprenticeship Program


U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration


October 2015 – September 2020


Advanced Manufacturing


California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin

Key Partners

Chicago Federation of Labor Workforce and Community Initiative, Keystone Development Partnership, Labor Institute for Training, Michigan Workforce Development Institute, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership, Working for America Institute of the AFL-CIO

Key Objectives

* Register 1,450 new apprentices, 40% from underrepresented populations * Establish 150 employer sponsors

Learn More About Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning in Advanced Manufacturing
Learn More

In today’s advanced manufacturing economy, most production workers, including those on the front lines, need more than the basic skills that were sufficient for factory work in previous decades.

To meet strict quality and safety standards, modern manufacturers need workers with a good deal of expertise. But experienced employees are aging out of the labor market and new talent is scarce. Employers often have a hard time finding skilled young workers who can help grow this critical sector of the U.S. economy.

The Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprenticeship fulfills that demand for labor by helping employers and unions attract and train people to work in advanced manufacturing facilities.

What Is the IMT?

A nationally recognized apprenticeship registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, the IMT is hybrid training program in which participants acquire knowledge and skills that are essential in advanced manufacturing environments. Workers who complete the 18-month or 3,000-hour apprenticeship will learn to do the following:

  • Set up, operate, monitor, and control production equipment
  • Help improve manufacturing processes and schedules to meet customer requirements
  • Understand manufacturing as an integrated business system made up of multiple disciplines, processes, and stakeholders
  • Efficiently and safely manage time and materials

IMT graduates are prepared to work in settings as diverse as food processing plants, foundries, plastics production facilities, and biomedical plants.

Visit JFF's Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning
Visit the Center

Project Progress

Since 2015, JFF has enrolled 900 IMT apprentices at an average starting wage of $18.50 an hour. By the end of the 18-month apprenticeship, the average hourly wage increases to $25.

In 2020, a return on investment study of the IMT program showed that every dollar an employer sponsor invested in the program yielded a return of $1.48.

Work With Us

Find out more about partnering with JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning

The Next-Gen IMT Apprenticeship: A Return on Investment Study

This study measures the business impact of the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Registered Apprenticeship program on six apprenticeship sponsors. Apprenticeships are drastically underutilized as a standard part of the development and training of the American workforce.…

July 31, 2020

Why Apprenticeship Matters for Workers, Businesses, and Unions

Meeting the demand for a competitive 21st century manufacturing workforce will require training models that work. Apprenticeships are a powerful solution that equip workers with the technical skills needed to drive the country’s manufacturing industry…

March 14, 2017

Employers and Intermediaries

Case Study

Building Workers' Skills at Ralph H. Simpson Co.

An Illinois manufacturer uses the Industrial Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship program to build its workers’ skills. The Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) apprenticeship program provides frontline manufacturing production workers with the knowledge and competencies needed in the…

April 10, 2020
Case Study

IMT Critical to Growth at Hayes Performance Systems

Hayes has a long history as a manufacturer of motorcycle brakes, and it’s seeking to extend that expertise into other automotive markets. For Hayes to diversify successfully, its workers need to be flexible, nimble, and…

May 8, 2018
Case Study

KDP Enhances Apprenticeship Opportunities With Group Sponsorship, Mentoring

This profile highlights how KDP, a Pennsylvania intermediary, uses mentorship and group sponsorship to strengthen and develop the IMT. Intermediary Profile Keystone Development Pipeline (KDP) This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by…

November 22, 2019
Case Study

Workforce Development Institute: Teamwork Makes the IMT Dream Work

This profile highlights how WDI, a Michigan intermediary, expands the IMT apprenticeship program through building and maintaining close relationships with employers. Intermediary Profile Workforce Development Institute (WDI) This workforce product was funded by a grant…

February 20, 2020
Employer: Stacey Rose, Kroger, Senior Manufacturing HR & Leader Relations Manager
JFF · Stacey Rose, The Kroger Co.


Case Study

Apprentice to Journey Worker: First IMT Registered Apprentice Transforms Her Career

With support from WRTP/ BIG STEP and JFF, manufacturing employers have transformed the skills of their workforce with apprenticeship programs like the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Registered Apprenticeship. “It’s all about self-growth. If a person is…

June 12, 2018
Case Study

Always Growing and Learning: Press Operator Explains The Value Of The IMT Apprenticeship

The AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, in partnership with the Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP and JFF, developed the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship. Its impact is showcased in this profile of a participant in the…

July 5, 2018
Case Study

IMT Accelerates Apprentice's Career Opportunities

As a result of his Industrial Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship, Rick Bostwick is moving up the career ladder at Dayton-Phoenix Group. In 2016, Rick Bostwick had been working on factory floors for more than 10 years…

June 21, 2019
Case Study

On the Path to Advancement: A Journey Back To School Through Apprenticeship

On the Path to Advancement: A Journey Back To School Through Apprenticeship The 18-month IMT apprenticeship trains frontline manufacturing workers to set up, operate, monitor, and control production equipment. Apprentices learn to understand manufacturing as…

June 12, 2018
Participant: Brandi Dunham (first graduate of IMT apprenticeship program), Hayes Performance Systems
JFF · Brandi Dunham, Hayes Performance Systems