JACKSON, MN—Tractor manufacturer AGCO is launching an apprenticeship program at its assembly plant here to train and recruit badly needed electrical mechanics and welders.

Fueled in part by state incentives, the program will start with four apprentices and grow to 20, officials said. Some of those hired will be trained to program or repair the company’s large, high-tech and customized agricultural machinery. Others will be trained to work on many of the robotic assembly systems that help build AGCO’s massive and complex farm vehicles.

Minnesota will pay AGCO $5,000 for each apprentice the company hires in Minnesota. The payments are part of a larger, statewide Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The goal of the initiative is to help at least 100 Minnesota employers recruit, train and retain 1,000 new apprentices in the fields of advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care, information technology and transportation.

AGCO’s Jackson factory won the ASSEMBLY magazine’s 2017 Assembly Plant of the Year.