It’s the first-ever Apprenticeship Week!

By Katie Spiker, November 03, 2015

Yesterday was the kick-off to the first US Apprenticeship Week. Based on a successful campaign in the UK, the goal of this week will be to raise public awareness on the benefits of apprenticeship. According to the Department of Labor’s dedicated site, there are almost 200 events being held around the country this week.

Apprenticeship week is part of a larger ApprenticeshipUSA effort by the Administration to increase opportunities for workers to access “job-driven” training that leads to employment and to double the number of apprentices in the U.S. In order to increase the use of apprenticeship, the administration has focused on expanding the model to new geographic areas, new populations of workers, and new industries.

Earlier Administration action includes:

  • American Apprenticeship Initiative Grants: Earlier this fall, Department of Labor announced $175 million in grants to partnerships between employers, community colleges, and community based organizations to expand apprenticeship to new industries, geographic regions, and underrepresented populations in round 1 of this grant program. The President’s budget for FY 2016 included funding for a second round of grants.
  • Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC): The RACC is designed to expand articulation of Registered Apprenticeship certificates to college credit across the country by engaging Registered Apprenticeship programs and two- and four-year colleges. By joining, college members agree to honor assessment of students’ prior learning for credit and Registered Apprenticeship members agree to meeting DOL established standards for their registered programs. 
  • ApprenticeshipUSA LEADERs: The Leaders of Excellence in Apprenticeship Development, Education, and Research (LEADERs) Initiative is a network of Registered Apprenticeship programs, employers, training providers, and apprenticeship experts based on similar efforts in Germany. The network is tasked with expanding awareness of apprenticeship and engaging other employers, training providers and researchers to expand Registered Apprenticeship across the country.

And apprenticeship is popular with members of Congress, too. Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs (LEAP) Act earlier this year, which is based on a South Carolina program and would provide businesses with Registered Apprenticeships with a $1,500 tax credit for each new apprentice hired who is under the age of 25. Employers would be eligible for a $1,000 tax credit for new apprentices hired who are over the age of 25. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI-2) introduced the Promoting Apprenticeships for Credentials and Employment (PACE) Act last Congress, which is likely to be reintroduced this year. The PACE act would support the development of pre-apprenticeship programs through competitive grants – with employers as required partners. This legislation would also provide funding to new registered apprenticeship programs or apprenticeship sponsors for expanding apprenticeships to new employers. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) also has a bill supporting tax credits for expanding apprenticeship.

Some of NSC’s members are joining in the action.


Stay tuned throughout the week as NSC will highlight other partner activities and action in the states in support of expanding apprenticeship. 

Photo Caption: Secretary of Labor Perez discussing Apprenticeship Week and the Administration's efforts to expand Apprenticeship at a National Journal Event at the Newseum on November 3.