Clemco Employees Thrive Through ECC’s IMT Apprenticeship

June 25, 2024 | Campus News

Two Clemco Industries employees recently completed the Industrial Maintenance Technician (IMT) apprenticeship program and are already experiencing the positive impact on their careers.

In February, Washington residents Gabe Altemeyer and Caleb Gildehaus completed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) IMT apprenticeship through East Central College’s Center for Workforce Development. They both earned an Industrial Engineering Technology Certificate of Achievement from ECC, as well as DOL IMT Certificates of Completion.

Altemeyer said he has already seen the substantial impact of the apprenticeship program on his career and noted the ease of starting the program, thanks to the support from Clemco advisors and Melissa Richards, CWD Apprenticeship & Business Training Coordinator.

Gabe Altemeyer

Altemeyer gained valuable skills, including wiring, programming, schematic reading, and the use of motors and drives.

“I also learned to problem-solve using different methods,” he shared. “The biggest strength for me was the labs. Working on something physical and seeing operations is the best way for me to learn.”

The structured program not only provided clear expectations but also accommodated Altemeyer’s work schedule, allowing time off to attend classes and complete his studies. He noted that his journey into the apprenticeship program began with a conversation with his supervisor and HR person, leading to meetings with Richards to explore available programs.

Caleb Gildehaus

With three years at Clemco, Gildehaus found the program easy to begin through the partnership between Clemco and ECC. He quickly signed up and began learning essential skills like reading wiring schematics, understanding electrical concepts, pneumatics, PLC programming, and robotics.

Caleb Gildehaus

Gildehaus said anyone interested in industrial work, machinery, or maintenance should consider this apprenticeship to cultivate growth in their own careers.

“The instructors are all very knowledgeable in the field of industrial engineering and maintenance. They have practical experience as well as theory-based knowledge to back up their skills,” Gildehaus explained.

The program’s structure allowed Gildehaus to balance work and study effectively, providing a clear roadmap to success.

“The program fit very well around my workday to allow me to get my working hours in as well as my homework and class work done,” he noted.

Both Altemeyer and Gildehaus’s stories underscore the value of the Industrial Maintenance Technician apprenticeship program. Their experiences highlight how such initiatives can enhance employees’ skills, advance their careers, and contribute to the growth and success of their companies.

Impact of CWD Programs

CWD apprenticeship programs do more than just improve productivity—they also enhance the bottom line for companies, offering opportunities for tax credits and employee benefits.

Currently, ECC offers DOL-registered apprenticeship programs in various technical occupations, including Industrial Engineering Technology, Welding, Precision Machining, and Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

Richards emphasized the extensive reach of DOL-registered apprenticeship programs, which span over 1,000 occupations and continue to grow. These apprenticeships are accessible to both union and non-union organizations.

“We have excelled in technical apprenticeships for over five years, and we are now expanding to register more apprenticeship occupations in health care and information technology,” she stated.

The CWD is at the forefront of creating industry-leading and adaptable training solutions to meet both national and local needs. It’s important to note that for every $1 invested in an apprenticeship, employers can expect approximately $1.50 in return on investment, Richards added.

For more information about apprenticeship programs, contact the ECC CWD at or 636-649-5800, or visit