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.