Labor Cabinet Deputy Secretary Mike Nemes joined officials from Prestonsburg City’s Utilities Commission and Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 to announce the creation of a new apprenticeship program. This three-year Registered Apprenticeship specializes in the occupations of Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Operators. Apprentices will receive 2,000 on-the-job and 144 classroom training hours per year and will earn a nationally recognized journeyman certificate upon completion of the program. Derrick Ramsey, Labor Cabinet Secretary, said that his hope is more cities throughout the Commonwealth will emulate the unique partnership in order to tackle today’s important workforce challenges. Prestonsburg Utilities Commission Superintendent and CEO Turner Campbell said the current workforce of certified operators is an aging one will likely face critical shortages in the future, but this program will shorten certification times and replace retiring operators quickly.