Thos. Moser apprentices become journeyman


AUBURN – Thos. Moser, designers and builders of hand-crafted wood furniture, announces that its first four-year class of apprentices will receive their journeyman certificates at a special ceremony at the Thos. Moser workshop on July 11. Thos. Moser is recognized as the first company in the state of Maine to institute a registered cabinetmaker apprenticeship program.

On hand to award the certificates to the recipients will be Director of the Bureau of Apprentices Gene Ellis, Commissioner Laura Fortman of the Maine Department of Labor, and Auburn Mayor John Jenkins. The recipients, George Colby Jr., 28, of New Gloucester, George Estabrook, 49, of Auburn, and Andrew Pinkham, 40, of Oxford, have all been employed at Thos. Moser for between nine and 10 years, and plan to continue working with the furniture maker upon receiving their certificates.

The Apprentice Program was created at Thos. Moser in October 2001 and launched in December 2002. Twenty-nine applicants vied for the eight apprentice positions awarded. Of the original eight, three have succeeded in finishing the program. The program, equivalent to 8,000 hours or four years, offers hands-on training in all aspects of the shop including accounting, building furniture and administration.

Additionally, the company fully covers the cost of classes and books at Central Maine Community College, where apprentices are required to take four three-credit courses each year. Apprentices are required to maintain a C average to remain in the program. Classes include the core requirements of a liberal arts degree as well as additional courses, such as computer-aided drafting, principles of supervision, accounting and public speaking. The course load during the four-year program brings each participant to within six credits of an associate degree in trade and technical occupation. Thos. Moser will continue to underwrite the cost for each journeyman to complete their degree.

The next four-year class has recently completed the review and application process, which includes a college placement exam with CMCC as well as evaluation and assessment by supervisors at Thos. Moser. The new apprentices will be named at the July 11, 2007, award ceremony.