BLACKFOOT — Premier Technology, Inc. has opened the doors for its 2021 welding apprenticeship program. The company is searching for men and women wanting to become professional welders/fabricators. The program is a "work as you learn" curriculum that allows students to work full time while they learn. All educational expenses are covered by Premier Technology.

The apprenticeship is a four-year program, and students will be hired as full-time Premier Technology employees. The beginning wage is $12 per hour and is set to increase in six-month increments as students complete each section of the program. At the four-year graduation date, students will be eligible for $24 per hour pay scale.

2021 marks the second year for Premier’s Welding Apprenticeship Program, which is federally recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The educational program is a collaboration between Premier Technology, Idaho State University and the College of Eastern Idaho. The curriculum is a culmination of classroom education and on-the-job training. This allows for students to learn in a classroom environment and then apply the concepts in a real-life setting.

“We are looking for students that are serious about becoming professional welders. In my opinion, our program is the best in the area and a great opportunity for beginners to grow as a craftsman. Our students are literally getting paid to learn. If you ask me, it doesn’t get much better than that," said Chris Cox, apprenticeship coordinator for Premier Technology.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent to be eligible. Students should apply at Premier’s website at www.ptius.net/carreers. The deadline to apply is Feb. 14.