Department of Labor announces “apprenticeship accelerator” grants

By Kermit Kaleba, April 22, 2016

On April 21, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) 19-15, announcing the availability of up to $9.5 million in “apprenticeship accelerator” grants to states to support efforts to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities. The accelerator grants are part of DOL’s broader ApprenticeshipUSA initiative, which is being funded through a $90 million Congressional appropriation included in last year’s omnibus spending bill.

States are eligible to apply for up to $250,000 in accelerator grant funding over a two-year period, and may use funds to support a range of activities, including:

  • Costs for staff, contractor, or subject matter expert support for the development of state apprenticeship strategies and partner engagement activities;
  • Outreach and technical assistance activities that support improved employer engagement and services; increased opportunities for women, communities of color, and other underrepresented populations; or engaging parents, educators, and other stakeholders in development of the state’s vision and strategy for apprenticeship
  • Analysis and asset mapping activities that allow states to identify sectoral opportunities for apprenticeship expansion, and develop strategies for integrating workforce, education, and other resources to support state apprenticeship strategies
  • Development and dissemination of reports, data tools, and other resources that support the development of apprenticeship opportunities
  • Enhancing data collection capabilities relating to apprenticeship. Check out Workforce Data Quality Campaign’s Registered Apprenticeship Data FAQs. The fact sheet discusses what Registered Apprenticeship data is collected, where it is maintained, and its shortfalls. It also proposes a list of metrics that could demonstrate a successful Registered.
  • Meeting and travel costs

States interested in applying for Accelerator Grants must submit proposals by not later than May 15, 2016.

The TEGL notes that the accelerator grants are the first of a series of grants that will be funded under the ApprenticeshipUSA initiative in 2016, including an additional $52 million in state apprenticeship “expansion grants” that will be announced in June, and approximately $30 million in contracts with national industry and equity partners that will supplement state efforts. A timeline of expected funding availability can be found on the ApprenticeshipUSA website.  

National Skills Coalition strongly supports the expansion of apprenticeship and other work-based learning opportunities, and we look forward to working with DOL and other stakeholders to ensure that these strategies serve the broadest possible of range of employers and jobseekers.