Information about Apprenticeships from the OCTAE Connection Issue 221

The following information on apprenticeships was announced on the December 16, 2014 issue of the OCTAE Connection. To access the full content of past issues of the OCTAE Connection, visit: 

DOL Announces $100M American Apprenticeships Grant Competition

On Thursday, Dec. 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of $100 million in training grants to expand Registered Apprenticeships (also known as American Apprenticeships) in high-skilled, high-growth industries like healthcare, biotechnology, information technology and advanced manufacturing. Registered Apprenticeships have long been acknowledged as one of the nation’s best preparation models for skilled trades, yet the program remains underutilized. These unparalleled grants will help to transform apprenticeships for the 21st century and escalate employment in these sectors. 

Approximately 25 grants, ranging from $2.5 million to $5 million each, will be conferred using funds collected from employers who use H-1B visas to hire foreign workers. Programs sponsored by this initiative will provide U.S. workers with the training to fill jobs that 1) are estimated to employ a considerable number of new workers; 2) are being altered by equipment and modernizations that require 21st-century skills; 3) are in innovating and developing industries and/or businesses that are anticipated to grow; or 4) have a substantial effect on the economy, overall. 

Apprenticeship grants will be presented to public and private partnerships among employers, business associations, joint labor-management organizations, labor organizations, community colleges, local and state governments, and other non-profit organizations. Successful applicants will use the federal funds to grow Registered Apprenticeship programs that align with other postsecondary education programs and generate career pathways to long-term careers. 

These grants will encourage greater access to apprenticeship opportunities for historically underrepresented populations, including women, young people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans and transitioning service members. 

Funding applications are due by April 30, 2015. The full announcement, which includes information on eligibility and how to apply, is available here


The U.S. Departments of Labor and Education Expand Educational Opportunities for Registered Apprenticeship Graduates

Registered Apprenticeship programs meet the skilled workforce needs of American industry, and have trained millions of qualified individuals for lifelong careers since 1937. Registered Apprenticeship helps mobilize America's workforce with structured, on-the-job learning in traditional industries, such as construction and manufacturing, as well as in emerging ones, such as health care, information technology, energy, telecommunications, and more. The program also connects job seekers looking to learn new skills with employers, resulting in a competitive workforce with industry-driven training.

The Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium (RACC), a joint initiative of the departments of Education and Labor, is a national network composed of postsecondary institutions, employers, labor management groups, and other associations. These entities work together to give students the necessary skills to take them from Registered Apprenticeships through college and gainful employment.  Additionally, the RACC enhances the competitiveness of U.S. businesses by providing them with highly trained workers who possess in-demand skills and competencies.

"The decision to prepare a student for college or career is no longer an option in today's competitive global economy," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a press release about the RACC. "To ensure a highly skilled and trained workforce that can compete with the best and brightest across the world, we have to train our students for college and career. This program provides a much needed pathway for students to develop needed technical skills while also pursuing a college degree, strengthening the middle class." 

The RACC strives to foster (1) strengthened relationships between the Registered Apprenticeship program and secondary institutions; (2) informed, mutually understanding partnerships among Registered Apprenticeship, the RACC and postsecondary institutions; (3) an understanding of apprentices as students; and (4) the ability of apprentices to earn credits for the Registered Apprenticeship experience, pursue further credentials, and pursue transfer opportunities.

For more information on the Registered Apprentice program, click here, and to learn about RACC, click here.