Press Release
August 15, 2019

Workforce Services Appoints New Commissioner of Apprenticeships

SALT LAKE CITY (August 15, 2019) — The Department of Workforce Services has selected Melisa Stark as the new Commissioner of Apprenticeship Programs. Stark will be responsible for working with industry and education leadership to expand apprenticeship opportunities throughout the state. 

“Expanding apprenticeships has become a top priority for workforce development agencies nationwide. Utah is now one of the first states to hire a commissioner over the state’s apprenticeship program,” said Jon Pierpont, Department of Workforce Services executive director. “ Melisa’s experience building industry and education partnerships will be extremely valuable as she works to expand Utah’s apprenticeship program.” 

With more than 23 years at Workforce Services, Stark has gained a broad range of experience as an industry lead, grants specialist and leading the department’s employment initiatives program. Since 2013, Stark has led Utah’s efforts in building education and industry partnerships through the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership and Talent Ready Utah grants. In this capacity, she has worked closely with state leadership in education and multiple industries to build workforce pathway programs, apprenticeship programs and other on-the-job training programs. 

“I’m grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working with all our partners to develop new apprenticeship opportunities throughout Utah,” said Stark. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to grow and expand Utah’s apprenticeship program because of the strength of our economy and the workforce. It’s an exciting time to be part of this work.” 

The Commissioner of Apprenticeship Programs was created by H.B. 280 during the 2019 General Legislative Session. Stark will assume her responsibilities immediately.