KCMA Apprenticeships

Shape the next generation of skilled craftsmen.

Apprenticeships to train and retain a quality workforce.

It’s hard to find workers who have a great attitude, are willing to learn, and have some technical knowhow. Getting them to stay for a career in cabinetmaking is even harder.

The KCMA Apprenticeship program is designed to change that, giving KCMA members control over the most important part of our business—the people who run our equipment, maintain our machines, and ensure a quality product for our customers.

Best of all, our partner at Jobs for the Future (JFF), will work with you one-on-one to finalize your program and complete the registration process, as well as take advantage of state and federal resources. 

KCMA has established its first model apprenticeship - Cabinet Finisher - and has standards available for our members to help you build a modern training program for your workers. Several others are in development and will be released as they become available.

Apprentices assembling cabinet

What is apprenticeship?

Registered apprenticeship is an industry-driven approach to training that maps out the instruction and on-the-job learning that workers need to be fully competent in their job. Employers develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals obtain paid work experience and wage increases as they build their proficiency on the job. Registered apprenticeship has some critical elements. They include:

  • A paid job. Apprenticeship is not the same as an internship. All apprentices must be paid (they can be paid an apprentice rate that rises as they gain skills and competencies).
  • On-the-job training. Apprenticeship must lay out training that apprentices receive while working. For cabinet manufacturers, that means time on the shop floor under supervision.
  • Related instruction. In addition to on-the-job training, apprentices must receive additional training to cover knowledge areas and theory they need to do their job. This will often include OSHA training, daily shift briefings, operating procedures, academic topics such as basic math and chemistry, and more. This training can take place in a classroom, community college, online, in a break room—anywhere that gives the best access and learning environment for workers.
  • Pay increases. Your program will specify starting and ending wages, along with increases as apprentices progress in their understanding and proficiency.