Apprenticeships for office jobs can prepare downtowns for the future of work

Originally posted on Brookings.

As big cities across the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, they are staring down some formidable challenges in their downtown commercial and office districts, as well as in their labor markets. Today, most U.S. downtowns have lower levels of activity compared to before the pandemic, especially in larger cities—and the federal relief that has compensated for lost sales taxes, transit fares, and other revenue is running out. 

At the same time, what many initially called a “great resignation” in the labor market turned out to be more of a “great reshuffle”—a rapid shift of workers from one job, industry, or career into another as people re-evaluated their living and work arrangements during the pandemic. Both job openings and job quits reached record highs in 2021.   

With last week being National Apprenticeship Week, this piece asks: What role can apprenticeships play in solving these challenges and bringing about more inclusive downtown economic development?  

The pandemic’s workforce impacts are still challenging downtowns 

Downtowns are confronting two challenges that will take collective effort to address. 

First, even as the share of workers (and their share of days) working remotely has gradually declined since the onset of the pandemic, office vacancy rates in large downtowns have continued to rise, and at a faster rate than across the overall region. Even if this divergence eventually reaches a new equilibrium, it is opening up a gap in the relationship between downtowns and work.  

The second challenge relates to dysfunctional labor markets. The pandemic’s initial economic shock was concentrated in Black and Latino or Hispanic neighborhoods, which saw severe job losses. These jobs have been slow to return and workers have been slow to return to them, as the protracted pandemic led to accelerated retirements and low immigration, while surging consumer demand, lack of child care, and other factors contributed to tight labor markets and high employee turnover. Employers are now finding that the old ways of hiring and retaining workers aren’t working anymore. Even in sectors of the economy that did not experience sharp job losses, these old ways of recruitment and selection are reproducing an opportunity gap, with degree-centric candidate screening leaving many workers and neighborhoods on the sidelines. 

By embracing apprenticeships, downtowns are uniquely positioned to create a new competitive advantage and value proposition for themselves as talent engines for the future. And the wave of federal funding earmarked for workforce development, infrastructure, innovation, and climate adaptation will create additional opportunities to strategically engage local talent in the reinvention of downtown neighborhoods. 

Apprenticeships are not only for the trades 

It is time to rethink how we connect local talent to careers and provide more options for people to access high-quality jobs. In the U.S., apprenticeships have a long history of being limited to skilled trade occupations such as electricians, plumbers, and construction workers. These are relatively high-paying jobs, and they remain important for the success of downtowns, particularly as federal infrastructure funding hits the streets.  

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships combine long-term, paid, work-based learning opportunities with structured educational curricula to ensure that the learner gains both education and hands-on experience in a profession of occupation. Apprenticeships are most suitable for jobs that require a mix of hands-on experience and conceptual foundations learned in the classroom. They can be an attractive option for learners who prefer learning by doing, who are seeking paid routes into a profession and/or college degree.

Yet there are many other industries and occupations concentrated in downtowns that are struggling to fill openings and retain workers (see Figure 1). Finance and insurance, professional and business services, and many government administration jobs could benefit greatly from offering apprenticeship pathways from high schools and community colleges into roles that are currently hard to fill, such as project managers, account managers, cybersecurity technicians, and graphic designers.  

U.S. job distributions

In Switzerland, apprenticeships are offered across a wider range of industries and professions, and 70% of high school youth participate in them. The most popular choice among apprentices there is the commercial sector, which includes banking, retail, public administration, and some information technology occupations. 

Businesses typically benefit from training apprentices as well, although the costs and benefits can vary. Apprenticeships show promise in helping companies become more innovative, build a more diverse workforce, save on hiring and turnover costs, reduce overtime, and recruit and retain workers in jobs that are hard to fill. Researchers Samuel Muehlemann and Stefan C. Wolter found that businesses in Switzerland and Germany were more willing to train apprentices when they could recoup their costs, which was more likely to occur with longer apprenticeship durations, competitive labor markets (apprentices helped reduce hiring and recruitment costs), and/or conversion of apprentices into full-time employees for at least a year.  

Barriers to scaling apprenticeships in the US 

Overcoming the long-standing pattern of restricting apprenticeships to a handful of skilled trades will require some transformative shifts in our K-12 institutions, postsecondary education, and hiring/career pathways. Although there is bipartisan support for expanding apprenticeships and other earn-and-learn opportunities, most of the efforts to date have come in the form of grant-funded initiatives and pilot programs rather than systems-level changes such as formula funding for apprenticeship intermediaries, redesigning registration processes to suit 21st-century jobs and professions, and creating incentives for states and educational institutions to develop degree apprenticeships or give academic credit for work-based learning.  

The top barriers to scaling apprenticeships outside the trades include: 

  • Low awareness of apprenticeship options among businesses, students, parents, and society has led to a poor understanding of what it is or what its value proposition is outside of a narrow set of industries and occupations where it is normalized. 
  • State and federal apprenticeship registration processes can be onerous for businesses and may include rules and terms that seem irrelevant for roles outside of the trades (e.g., “journeyman” is gendered and is not commonly used in an office environment). 
  • Siloed governance structures and funding streams between educational institutions, employer organizations, and learners has made coordination onerous and reduced alignment between available curricula, skills that employers need, and career awareness. 
  • Misperceptions rooted in the history of apprenticeships and vocational education in the U.S. have contributed to the stigmatization of apprenticeships as a lower-status alternative to a college degree (rather than a paid pathway to a degree). Another common misperception is that apprenticeships require the presence of a labor union.  

Despite these barriers, there is growing momentum to expand apprenticeships beyond traditional industries and integrate them into educational systems and degree pathways. These “new collar” apprenticeships (a phrase coined by IBM) focus on professional occupations in industries such as insurance, finance, business, and technology. In Chicago, an employer-led network started by Accenture, Aon, and Zurich North America—the Chicago Apprenticeship Network—brings together employers, education partners, and apprentices to shift hiring practices away from an overreliance on college degrees and supports apprenticeship expansion to cultivate talent from a more diverse range of backgrounds. And in September, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a historic investment in a new public-private partnership to connect 500 youth to paid apprenticeship roles in finance, technology, and business operations. Technology apprenticeships are also expanding in response to unfilled openings and a need for more racial and gender diversity in technology; San Francisco’s TechSF program was one of the first to expand registered apprenticeships into several information technology occupations. 

Watch the recent event | Racial equity and inclusion in tech: Can apprenticeships help change hiring practices? 

Such apprenticeship pilots can provide a proof of concept, but real change requires investment in new institutions, pathways, and systems over time. Place-based governance organizations in our downtowns are well positioned to engage local talent that has been kept on the sidelines of economic prosperity, strengthen linkages between education and employment, and expand youth apprenticeships as an opportunity multiplier. What is required for the downtowns of the future is not a new program or pilot, but a realignment of existing institutions that makes it easy for both individual employers and workers to participate.  

The pandemic accelerated trends in America’s downtowns, workplaces, and labor markets, so in many respects the future is already here. Expanding apprenticeships to strengthen pathways for local talent into hard-to-fill professional jobs will help cities leverage the workforce they already have to foster inclusive innovation and regional growth. 

Ingalls Shipbuilding honors apprentices for National Apprenticeship Week

Originally posted on WXXV25.

This week marks the eighth annual National Apprenticeship Week. The City of Pascagoula and Ingalls Shipbuilding are showing how much they appreciate their apprentices.

Apprenticeship Week is a time to celebrate those men and women in training to become full time workers at certain organizations.

While this is a national celebration, officials at Pascagoula City Hall are showing their appreciation on a more personal level by adopting a proclamation officially approving the recognition of the special week in the city. Training Rep and former apprentice Lloyd Stringer said, “It makes me feel so wonderful, so wonderful being an apprentice one time, being an alum now. It’s like Christmas.”

To help celebrate this proclamation, Ingalls Shipbuilding held a party where apprentices with the company gathered at the Maritime Training Academy for good food and good spirit.

City Manager Michael Silverman read the proclamation to the crowd. “It’s an extremely special moment just to be a part of such an amazing company and part of such an amazing community. I think these workers are crucial to our economy and crucial to the safety of this country.”

Ingalls has about 300 apprentices under its wing, who focus on a variety of different skills, each crucial to the workforce. “It’s a wide variety from pipe fitters to welders that helps build the great ships that Ingalls produces.”

This program is key for the shipyard because it helps bring in highly skilled workers to the team in an effective and efficient way. “The apprentices are the future of the shipyard. They are the future of the community because without the shipyard and the apprenticeship, we would have a lot of unskilled craftsmen.”

A New Way for America to Re-Embrace Apprenticeship

Originally posted on Progressive Policy Institute.

By Taylor Maag

Apprenticeship is engrained in America’s history — three of our Founding Fathers started their careers as apprentices. George Washington, for example, apprenticed as a land surveyor. Yet even with this 250-year runway, apprenticeships have not taken off in the United States as they have in other advanced nations.

Our country has about 500,000 registered apprenticeships today, mostly in traditional sectors such as building trades and heavy industry. As a share of their labor force, Great Britain, Australia, and Germany have roughly 10 times more.

It is puzzling that the U.S. hasn’t followed its peers in scaling up apprenticeship, a training model that is also a job, allowing people to work and earn while they are learning the critical skills necessary for good jobs and careers. It’s an especially relevant model now, when most U.S. jobs require at least some postsecondary education and training, and when employers, even in our tight labor market, report a serious shortage of skilled workers in their fields.

While many progressives have seized on the panacea of “college for all,” the reality is that 62% of American adults have no bachelor’s degree, and that number rises to 72% for Black adults and 79% for Hispanic adults. Additionally, soaring college tuition costs, low completion rates, and heavy debt burdens make it clear that America needs alternatives to college that are affordable, trusted by employers, and help people learn the technical and digital skills that today’s middle-class jobs require.

This is why, in a spring 2022 survey of 1,220 California adults, only 33% agreed that a bachelor’s degree is required to have a successful career, while 63% favored multiple pathways including apprenticeship. Yet, federal policy remains biased in favor of college. Just a couple of months ago, the Biden Administration’s debt forgiveness policy was announced, further subsidizing college costs for those with a 4-year degree, or higher. But what about the majority of Americans without degrees, how is the federal government helping them?

Our nation’s oldest pathway — apprenticeship — is a viable solution to start leveling the playing field for college and non-college workers while also solving the current skills conundrum. A large-scale apprenticeship program can be a game-changer to address critical issues plaguing America, including socioeconomic immobility, frustration at being shut out from economic opportunity, geographic mobility, and workforce diversity.

To make this a reality, Robert Lerman and Ryan Craig of Apprenticeships for America (AFA) offer a creative proposal: mobilize networks of intermediaries, including nonprofits, job placement and business service firms, industry associations and unions to work with U.S. employers to create roughly one million new apprenticeships per year.

Why are such intermediaries essential for ramping up the number of apprenticeship slots in America? Creating rigorous apprenticeships isn’t easy. It takes time, money, and skills few employers believe they have. Research shows that without outside efforts to sell employers on apprenticeship and help them organize programs, there’s little hope of achieving scale.

The good news: Funding of intermediaries is up. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Apprenticeship’s budget has increased by $200 million since 2015, with most of these dollars going to intermediaries as grants to expand apprenticeship. The bad news: Even with the rise of resources the share of apprentices in the labor force is stuck at today’s low level — just 0.3% of all workers.

It’s clear that our nation needs a new way of bringing apprenticeship to scale. That is why the AFA’s pay-per-apprenticeship proposal is so attractive — it pushes for an apprenticeship system that models higher education where federal funding doesn’t merely pick winners through the lottery of grant programs, but that funds apprenticeship through reliable, predictable formula funding. Additionally, to ensure stronger outcomes, these dollars would be tied to performance. Resources would go to all types of intermediaries, from nonprofits like CareerWise, to for-profit apprenticeship service providers like Multiverse, based on how many apprentices they place at companies and train.

If the federal government were to follow this approach and expand opportunities through formula funding and pay only for performance, a $4 billion investment would create 1 million new apprenticeships a year. And while $4 billion sounds expensive, compare it to the over $200 billion the federal government spends annually on higher education, which is done willingly without the same job guarantee. What also makes this dollar amount easier to swallow is that no workforce training method packs as much punch as apprenticeship. Apprenticeships have a strong return on investment for employers in terms of retention and economic growth. For roughly every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity, reduced waste, and greater front-line innovation. At Multiverse, for example, 90% of apprentices remain with their employer post program completion. This model also yields strong returns for workers, with those who complete apprenticeship earning an average of $300,000 more than those who don’t over the course of their career.

It is time today’s policymakers take a page from our history books and, like our Founding Fathers, value apprenticeship. But rather than go back in time, federal leaders must build and scale a 21st century apprenticeship system. With such an effort, U.S. employers will follow other countries to create a significant number of apprenticeships and remain competitive through gains in recruitment, workforce quality, and improved productivity. Simultaneously, these changes will be worthwhile for workers — increasing earnings, widening access to rewarding careers, increasing job satisfaction, and expanding the middle class. This is the kind of tangible hand up American workers deserve and should expect from their government.

Taylor Maag is the Director of Workforce Development Policy at the Progressive Policy Institute.

East Central Community College and Raytheon Intelligence & Space Announce Registered Apprenticeship Program

Originally posted on ECCC.

East Central Community College in Decatur has announced a new partnership with Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, located in Forest, in a joint effort to fill touch-labor manufacturing and provide members of the community with technical training. 

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a business that employs about 1,000 Mississippians, is a leader in the aerospace and defense industry. Their paid, three-year manufacturing apprenticeship program for electronic technicians is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and will enable students enrolled at East Central to earn electronics technician credentials while gaining on-the-job work experience and mentorship. RI&S anticipates that more than 100 individuals will be enrolled in the program within the first five years. 

East Central’s provisional training will help fill the need for highly skilled workers. The goal is to transition apprenticeship program graduates to full-time RI&S employees. 

“Raytheon Intelligence & Space is a major asset in our community, and we are fortunate to have such a company located in our district,” said East Central President Dr. Brent Gregory. “We are excited to utilize our technical programs and experience to provide our students a fast track directly into the workforce, especially at a company with the success of RI&S.” 

The partnership looks to include a streamlined training program on East Central’s campus to provide students an opportunity to join the Raytheon Intelligence & Space team as quickly as possible, with competitive starting salary and benefits packages. 

“Manufacturing is at the heart of what we do,” said Jeff Place, vice president of Operations & Supply Chain at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “This apprenticeship program will allow East Central students to create some of the most advanced technology in the world – providing unmatched capabilities to our men and women in uniform – and do it while continuing to pursue their education.” 

This registered apprenticeship status, which is administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security, is the first of its kind in East Central’s five-county district. 

The training will be open to students of diverse backgrounds as financial, logistical, and learner support for prospective students and participants will be a joint effort between the ECCC support services, Raytheon Intelligence & Space, and Accelerate Mississippi. 

More information about the program and opportunities to apply will be made available soon and can be found at www.eccc.edu. 

Singing River Healthcare Academy breaks ground as Mississippi’s first medical workforce academy

Originally posted on WLOX.

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – For working mother Lauren Fernandez, dropping everything and changing career paths remained a pipe dream.

“I have two kids, so I’m a working mom and my husband is working; and I couldn’t just afford to stop working and go back to school,” Fernandez said. “Kids take money, school takes money, life takes money.”

When Fernandez learned about opportunities for her career growth within Singing River’s Healthcare Academy, she realized her dream to become a surgical technician could soon become a reality.

Now, more students like her can take advantage of the same opportunities through the state’s first ever medical apprenticeship program – all at no cost.

Mississippi’s Governor Tate Reeves touting the program for being an innovative employment solution as health care systems work through unprecedented staffing shortages.

“We’ve talked a lot about the need for training Mississippians for the jobs of the next 50 years not for the jobs of the last 50years,” Governor Reeves said. “We know that here in Jackson County, there is going to be a continued need for significantly more resources.”

The Singing River Healthcare Academy grew from humble beginnings into a multi-million dollar facility.

“The potential when we get through with this thing is to have 1,000 students come out, going to school, working and being paid to do that,” Singing River CEO Tiffany Murdock said.

I think it’s a model that’s brilliant and one that will work not only here but around the state,” Governor Reeves said.

As state and local leaders break ground on the Ocean Springs site, Fernandez is scrubbing up to put on her surgical cap for graduation, reveling how she was among the first group of students to come through the program.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to get in and have a refresher and get to the operating room,” Fernandez said.

Singing River hopes to break the ribbon for the facility in the fall of 2024.

Meeting the Moment: Expanding Career Pathways for Women

Originally posted on U.S. Department of Labor.

The nation is at a critical moment of change. To date, the federal government has announced over $100 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to rebuild America’s infrastructure. These investments, plus the Biden-Harris administration’s climate initiative, will create thousands of good-paying jobs for working and middle-class families for years to come. The industries where these jobs will be created are ones where women have historically been underrepresented. For example, while women are roughly half the workforcethey represent only 4% of the construction trades. With this tremendous investment in new jobs, it’s never been more important to create and expand promising career pathways for women in the skilled trades.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau continues to expand pathways to better jobs through the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary on Oct. 27, 2022. WANTO seeks to increase the number of women in registered apprenticeships as well as historically male-dominated jobs with higher wages. The program has provided nearly $33 million through 132 grants to community-based organizations since its inception in 1992. Using grant funds, WANTO grantees like Tradeswomen, Inc. have been planting the seeds for women-only training cohorts in local areas throughout the United States, creating the necessary spark for other organizations to replicate and scale this successful model. 

The WANTO grant program is a proven roadmap for preparing women to gain access to good-paying jobs. WANTO is unique in that grantees provide job skills training programs to prepare women for promising careers, while simultaneously helping employers create a work culture that better facilitates women’s success. WANTO grants also provide funding for childcare, transportation, tuition expenses, and work-related tools and gear since evidence shows that women participate and succeed in job training programs at higher rates when they receive supportive services.

Cristina Barillas, a Local 130 plumber for 20 years and former WANTO participant, said about the WANTO grantee Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT): “When people ask me for assistance in getting their daughter, sister or friend into plumbing, I always suggest going through CWIT Technical Opportunities Program (TOP). There is nothing like CWIT TOP. You can learn about every trade, and not only by reading or meeting a person in a trade, but hands on. A woman can determine what trade would best suit her, and then start creating her own sister group with the other ladies in the program. CWIT is a vital organization. Besides TOP, it is a safe space for women to continue learning their trade with other sisters and a space with no fear of judgement, rejection or harassment. I have heard many sisters call CWIT ‘home.’”

Supported by recent U.S. Department of Labor partnerships and investments, the number of female apprentices has more than doubled from 2014 to 2022 and women now make up nearly 14% of active apprentices compared to 9.4% in 2014. In 2021, the number of women working in trades occupations reached the highest level ever, at more than 314,000. And during the last five years, the number of tradeswomen increased by almost one-third.

To continue this positive momentum, the Women’s Bureau will keep investing in the WANTO grant program, one of the only federal funding sources focused exclusively on women workers. With 30 years of history, WANTO and its best practices are poised to meet this critical moment. Now more than ever, it is important to build and scale successful programs like WANTO so that women have a seat at the table in this moment when federal investments in nontraditional jobs and training is higher than ever. 

To learn more from leaders who are working on gender and racial equity in the trades and non-traditional jobs, view the recording of the Women’s Bureau’s 2022 Equity in Focus Summit. Please also save the date and join us on Nov. 17, National Women in Apprenticeship Day, for a webinar on how our WANTO grantees are meeting the moment at this critical time.

Continental Tire Visits Hinds Community College Electro-Mechanical Technology Program

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Continental Tire visited with day & night students in the Hinds Community College Electro-Mechanical Technology program.

During the visit, Continental Tire presented to Electro-Mechanical Technology students about the Production Technician and Mechatronics Registered Apprenticeship programs.

Quatarius Harris and James Manley shared their experiences as Production Technician apprentices while attending Hinds Community College. Apprentices at Continental Tire have their Hinds tuition paid while in the program, earn a great paycheck and receive benefits.

Students that attended the presentation have the opportunity to apply and start a great career with a world-class company.

For information about the Hinds CC Diesel Day/Night program, click the link: https://lnkd.in/gW3wf_cC

Rolls-Royce holds grand opening for new Pascagoula facility

Originally posted on WLOX.

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – Governor Tate Reeves visiting South Mississippi to participatein the grand opening of the new Rolls-Royce facility in Pascagoula.

“I want to thank the entire Rolls-Royce team for your commitment to Mississippi,” said Reeves. “Since I became governor, we have seen almost $5 billon in new capital investment, and we’ll see even more in the immediate future.”

The new 26,000-square-foot space will provide increased support to U.S. Navy programs. It’s located in Jackson County Supervisor Ennit Morris’ district. His connection started years ago when he was employed by the company. He later retired there.

“It’s a special event and it is a special day to me,” said Morris. “I think it’s a big deal that we can supply the Navy with all of their needs. 95% of the work here goes to the Navy.”

Governor Reeves said Rolls-Royce’s investment in Mississippi does more than solely help propel the world’s greatest naval fleet. It will also help further propel the state’s growing economy.

“It’s because of days like today and announcements that we’re celebrating, that I truly believe that our state’s brightest days are ahead of us,” added Reeves.

Congratulations to the Ingalls Apprentice graduates!

Originally posted on Ingalls Shipbuilding LinkedIn.

Congratulations to the Ingalls Apprentice graduates who will be participating in commencement this Saturday at HII’s #IngallsShipbuilding! The ceremony will honor the graduates from 2020, 2021 and 2022 as all three classes walk across the stage. Each class also recognizes its top performers and outstanding instructors. Today, please help us recognize the honorees for 2020 and 2021. Stay tuned for the 2022 Apprenticeship Award recipients tomorrow and the livestream of the graduation Saturday morning!

FACT SHEET:  Biden-⁠Harris Administration Launches the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative to Create Equitable, Debt-Free Pathways to High-Paying Jobs  

Originally posted on The White House.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing the launch of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative, a national network of more than 200 employers and industry organizations, labor organizations, educators, workforce intermediaries, and community-based organizations who are committed to strengthening and diversifying Registered Apprenticeship. Registered Apprenticeship is a high-quality, debt-free, equitable “earn and learn” model with a nationally recognized credential system that helps employers hire a more demographically diverse workforce and provides workers with on-the-job learning experience, job-related instruction with a mentor, and a clear pathway to a good-paying job. First Lady Jill Biden, Secretary Marty Walsh, and Secretary Gina Raimondo are hosting a discussion at the White House today with leaders of the Initiative.

The Apprenticeship Ambassadors have existing Registered Apprenticeship programs in over 40 in-demand industries and have committed to expand and diversify these programs over the next year by collectively: developing 460 new Registered Apprenticeship programs across their 40 industries, hiring over 10,000 new apprentices, and holding 5,000 outreach, promotional, and training events to help other business, labor, and education leaders launch similar programs. Ambassadors will also use their expertise to scale innovative practices and increase access to Registered Apprenticeship for underserved populations, including women, youth, people of color, rural communities, people with arrest or conviction records, and people with disabilities.

This new Initiative builds on President Biden’s efforts to expand Registered Apprenticeships, which include investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Registered Apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships and launching an Apprenticeship Accelerator that speeds up the time it takes to get approval to start a new program from months to days. The Administration’s efforts have already helped develop over 4,000 new Registered Apprenticeship programs, add 6,700 new employer partners participating in Registered Apprenticeship programs, and led to the hiring of more than one million apprentices.

The Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative will have long-lasting and mutually beneficial economic benefits for both workers and employers. About 93 percent of workers who complete Registered Apprenticeships gain employment and earn an annual average starting wage of $77,000. Registered Apprenticeships also help employers attract, train, and retain a skilled and diverse workforce and reap a $1.47 return for every dollar spent on Registered Apprenticeships. The Initiative will help to ensure there is a skilled, diverse workforce to implement the President’s economic agenda – including tackling the supply chain challenge and filling new clean energy jobs created by the Inflation Reduction Act, manufacturing and technology jobs created by the CHIPS and Science Act, infrastructure jobs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and roles in other high-demand sectors like health care and cybersecurity.

For example, through the Initiative:

  • IBM has committed to invest $250 million globally in Registered Apprenticeship and other training programs by 2025. IBM has also committed to share its Apprenticeship Playbook with other employers and partner with national coalitions to advocate for skills-based hiring practices. Already, IBM expanded its Registered Apprenticeship programs to more than 30 roles with more than 900 apprentices in cybersecurity, software development, data science, and design – some of which have earned recognition from the American Council on Education for college credits.
  • Siemens, which leverages its apprenticeship program to develop talent for roles in advanced manufacturing and engineering, recently launched an Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Registered Apprenticeship program at its manufacturing hub in North Carolina, Created in partnership with Wake Technical Community College, this new program will help high school students earn credits towards an associate degree while receiving hands-on training, supporting the Biden Administration’s Talent Pipeline Challenge. Siemens also committed to expand its apprenticeship program and the number of apprentices hired in EV charging infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, and supply chain.
  • Yellow Corporation committed to developing new dockworker and truck mechanic Registered Apprenticeship programs and launching initiatives to determine ways its Registered Apprenticeship Driving Academies can introduce more women and people of color to truck driving careers. This builds on their establishment of 20 Registered Apprenticeship Driving Academies over the past two years, in partnership with Teamsters, and their commitment to hire 1,000 truck driver apprentices in 2022 as part of the Biden Administration’s Trucking Challenge.
  • The North American Building Trades Union (NABTU), which has 1,900 training centers across the country, committed to training 250,000 new apprentices over the next five years. It recently launched TradesFuture, a nonprofit organization that is piloting two programs offering child care to apprentices in New York City and Wisconsin – with the goal of assisting women, veterans, and people of color establish and maintain careers in the construction industry. This builds on NABTU’s efforts to expand apprenticeship readiness (sometimes called pre-apprenticeship) programs. Over the last five years, 12,000 people, including 78% people of color have graduated from these programs.
  • Trident Technical College, which serves as a Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor for over 70 active employers as the education provider and intermediary for the program, plans to expand to 400 apprentices across 10 industry sectors in the next year. Trident committed to working with more local employers, K-12 partners, and community organizers and develop new Registered Apprenticeship programs in mechatronics, transportation, and education. As a partner in New America’s Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) Initiative, Trident is committed to offering its technical training curriculum to communities across the country so they can rapidly adopt Registered Apprenticeships.
  • Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based nonprofit, committed to expand its Registered Apprenticeship programs to serve 300 apprentices in advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity occupations. Focus: HOPE also recently launched two new pre-apprenticeship programs in partnership with IBEW and Carpenters Union, which offer guaranteed pathways into an apprenticeship upon completion. The organization committed to hosting recruitment events focused on communities of color and veterans.
  • The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), a state agency, worked with a large hospital district in Texas to develop the first ever Registered Nurse Apprenticeship program. TWC has now committed to invest $15 million to pay for clinicals for these nursing students, resulting in more than 2,000 additional apprenticeships in the next two years. The Commission has also committed to developing two Registered Apprenticeship programs in nursing, as well as programs in software engineering, IT for their own state agency and to promote the value of Registered Apprenticeship programs to other state agencies as a way to recruit, retain and upskill employees. And, the Commission committed to holding conferences and outreach events focused on people of color, including “signing days” for high schoolers entering apprenticeship programs.
  • Prairie View A&M University, a public HBCU in Texas, runs a U.S. Department of Commerce funded Rural Workforce Academy, which provides skilled trades training certification and job placement in rural counties impacted by disasters. In partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission, Prairie View committed to provide training and accommodations for students with disabilities and, with the support of USDA, expand its apprenticeship occupations to include butchery, forestry, and veterinary technician.

These efforts complement the Administration’s efforts to expand Registered Apprenticeships to build a skilled, diverse workforce in high demand areas—including those that are bolstered by President’s economic agenda. For example,  the Administration launched the Talent Pipeline Challenge, a nationwide call to action for employers, education and training providers, states, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, and philanthropic organizations to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development – including launching or scaling Registered Apprenticeships – in critical infrastructure sectors: broadband, construction, electric vehicle charging, and battery manufacturing. Clean energy tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act include a significant bonus for businesses that hire using Registered Apprenticeship programs and pay prevailing wage rates – ensuring our clean energy investments create high-quality training pathways that lead to good-paying jobs. State and local governments are using American Rescue Plan Fiscal Recovery Funds to expand pre-apprenticeships and Registered Apprenticeships in response to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic. 

The Department of Labor is also taking additional steps to expand Registered Apprenticeship to serve at least 1 million apprentices annually within the next 5 years. These steps include:

  • Investing over $330 million through grants to states, employers, labor organizations, and workforce intermediaries to expand and diversify Registered Apprenticeships. This includes $50 million to support nine hubs that help employers design, develop and deliver programs.
  • Catalyzing lasting changes, like answering the President’s call to re-establish the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship to help modernize the Registered Apprenticeship system.
  • Launching four new technical assistance centers to support employers and industry as they aim to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for underserved populations.
  • Partnering with the Department of Commerce on sector-based challenges like the Trucking Challenge and the Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint.

The Department of Commerce is expanding Registered Apprenticeships, including by:

  • Launching the Good Jobs Challenge a $500 million program funded through the American Rescue Plan that is investing in 32 awardees to develop high-quality worker training systems and partnerships, with an emphasis on Registered Apprenticeships. Grants were awarded to WTIA Workforce Institute to scale its proven technology Registered Apprenticeship model in the high-paying cloud computing sector, the Maryland Department of Labor to implement Registered Apprenticeships with leading wind power employers, Persevere to deliver technology Registered Apprenticeships to formerly incarcerated individuals, and Alaska Primary Care Association to administer registered healthcare apprenticeship programs with a focus on rural, tribal communities.
  • Requiring the use of a highly-skilled workforce, which can be fulfilled through use of graduates of Registered Apprenticeships, for the $42 billion infrastructure deployment of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.

The Department of Education is expanding Registered Apprenticeship, including by:

  • Developing a Work-Based Learning Toolkit that encourages the development of a State work-based learning strategy, which can include job shadowing, cooperative education experiences (or co-ops), school-based enterprises, internships, and apprenticeships.
  • Producing an online course on creating pre-apprenticeship programs to help individuals develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in apprenticeship programs.

Visit Apprenticeship.gov to start a program, become an apprentice, become an Apprenticeship Ambassador, or learn more about the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative and National Apprenticeship Week in November where many Ambassadors will showcase their commitments.

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