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Our Registered Apprenticeship Trailblazer and Innovator “SpotLight” series continues this week with a look at the Seafarers International Union (SIU)-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education.  Established in 1967, the Paul Hall Center provides vocational training for U.S. mariners, including over 70 Coast Guard-approved courses. 

Since 2003 the Center has used a Registered Apprenticeship program to prepare over 3,000 U.S. Mariners.  The program is the largest of its kind for entry-level seafarers in the United States.  Apprentices receive training for Merchant Mariner careers aboard all types of vessels, including containerships, tankers, bulkers, passenger vessels, tug boats, etc.  

Classes and training cover the duties and responsibilities in the three main areas of seamanship: deck, engine, and steward.  The Unlicensed Apprentice (UA) Program offers a one-year program that includes a combination of classroom training and an apprenticeship onboard a vessel, plus hands-on training at the school’s Piney Point, Md. campus.  Apprentices pay no tuition and receive room and board during their participation. Participants who complete the training and graduate from the entry-level apprenticeship program are guaranteed a first job aboard one of the SIU's contracted vessels.

The Center’s apprenticeship program was recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator program,  which embodies the 21st century Vision for Registered Apprenticeship, during the U.S. Department of Labor’s “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate Education and Action Summit” in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.  John Mason, the CEO of American Service Technology Inc., accepted a Certificate of Recognition, on behalf of the Paul Hall Center, presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Administrator of Apprenticeship John V. Ladd.

In an August 15 news release issued by SIU, Mason spoke on the recognition and what it means to the Paul Hall Center.

“It’s an outstanding example of a labor and management partnership,” he said. “It fulfills the maritime transportation industry’s need for skilled, safe and qualified workers. The trailblazer award honors apprenticeship programs that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to excellence.”

To learn more about the SIU-affiliated apprenticeship program at the Paul Hall Center, we encourage you to download the SIU – Paul Hall Center Trailblazer and Innovator Fact Sheet.  For more on the programs SIU offers through the Paul Hall Center, please visit the SIU Website at: http://www.seafarers.org/paulhallcenter/phc.asp

This week’s Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight will highlight the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership, which focuses on establishing career pathways for Home Care Aides – the nation’s fastest growing occupation

The Training Partnership’s Advanced Home Care Aide Apprenticeship Program provides advanced training  to home care workers who are ready to take their career to the next level and provide specialized care to older adults and people with disabilities.  The apprenticeship includes a total of 145 hours, which includes 75 hours of basic and 70 hours of advanced classroom work.  Apprentices also receive 24 hours of peer mentoring from an experienced Home Care Aide. 

The Training Partnership is a non-profit, 501(c)3  school training more than 40,000 home care workers annually – making it the second largest educational institution in Washington state.  Formed by SEIU Healthcare 775NW and participating employers, including the state of Washington, the Training Partnership delivers innovative online and classroom based training to give workers the skills they need to provide high-quality, complex care to older adults and people with disabilities living at home instead of in a nursing home or institution.  The Advanced Home Care Aide apprenticeship program, the first of its kind in the country, is winding down its pilot phase and the Training Partnership hopes to scale the program in 2013.

Apprentices who complete the program receive an increase in pay and a Completion Certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, which has national portability. The pilot also features a competency based career pathway to Medical Assistant in which Advanced Home Care Aide apprentices  earn college credit toward a Medical Assistant degree - reducing time to completion for this high demand degree.

The Advanced Home Care Aide apprenticeship program was recently recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator program, which identified innovative training models that embody the 21st century vision for apprenticeship, during the Department of Labor’s OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate Education and Action Summit” in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.  Charissa Raynor, Executive Director for the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership, represented the program during the August 1, 2012 event, here in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Raynor was presented with a Certificate of Recognition presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, and Administrator of Apprenticeship John V. Ladd.

“Through Registered Apprenticeship, we are building a “user friendly” career pathway that empowers home care workers to deepen their skills and earn more by using those skills to provide specialized care that improves health outcomes and cost efficiencies not only in home care, but across the healthcare system,” said Ms. Raynor.  “And, this first in the nation model not only helps stabilize the home care industry’s workforce, but the entire healthcare workforce.  As we are proving with our pilot, today’s home care workers can be tomorrow’s medical assistants or other healthcare professionals - stabilizing and building cultural and linguistic diversity across the healthcare system.” 

To learn more on the Training Partnership’s Home Care Aide Apprenticeship Program, we encourage you to download the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership Trailblazer and Innovator Fact Sheet.  For more on the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership, please visit www.myseiubenefits.org

For our next installment of the Trailblazer and Innovator Spotlight series, we are highlighting the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union #1 and the Central Illinois’ Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA).  The two are working together to provide apprenticeship opportunities to underrepresented populations through a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC)

The JATC is working with Community-Based and Faith-Based organizations, and area schools to promote apprenticeship opportunities to underrepresented populations through “sample tests” that allow individuals to self-assess their strengths and weaknesses.  The sample test empowers potential applicants to work on areas of their knowledge that may need additional focus to prepare for entrance into a Registered Apprenticeship program. 

Additionally, the Local continually evaluates industry needs to identify areas of focus to ensure area employers are assured that journeyworkers who have completed the apprenticeship are trained for the ever-changing needs of the industry.  The program keeps an eye to the future to ensure training practices and strategies are innovative and able to adapt to meet employers’ needs.  The Sheet Metal Workers Joint Apprenticeship is committed to ensuring a dependable source of skilled, versatile sheet metal workers to its cooperating employers. 

The JATC has also partnered with Tri-County Construction Labor Management Council (TRICON) whose focus is workforce development, public relations, safety, and green building.  TRICON has brought in several students through an introductory work-based learning session to demonstrate what Sheet Metal Workers do.  The JATC also teams with Illinois Central College to provide related instruction as part of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program.

Recently, the Sheet Metal Workers Local 1 / SMACNA JATC efforts were recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) as a Trailblazer and Innovator program.  As part of the USDOL’s August 1, 2012 Registered Apprenticeship Education and Action Summit in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act, program representatives were presented with a Trailblazer and Innovator Recognition Certificate presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Administrator of Apprenticeship John V. Ladd.

“As we work to prepare future Sheet Metal Workers for the demands of our industry employers, the rigors of the Registered Apprenticeship model ensures we are providing a highly skilled workforce,” said Bill Comstock, Sheet Metal Workers Local 1 Business Manager.

For more on the Sheet Metal Workers Local # 1, please visit http://smw1.com/JATC/JATC.html

For more on SMACNA, please visit the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association at http://www.smacna.org/

Happy New Year to our Registered Apprenticeship community.  As we prepare for an exciting 2013, there is much to be excited about.  Looking back at 2012, the Registered Apprenticeship (RA) system reached an important milestone, the RA model continued to expand into non-traditional industries, and recent news tells us that traditional industries continue to use RA to provide opportunities to America’s workers.

In August of 2012 the RA system celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act.  We covered the OutEducate, OutBuild, OutInnovate Education and Action Summit in Commemoration of the National Apprenticeship Act signing here on the Community of Practice and shared information on 71 programs from throughout the country recognized during the event as Trailblazer and Innovator programs.  Each program received a Certificate of Recognition presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Office of Apprenticeship Administrator John V. Ladd.

Also in August, we announced the issuance of an ‘Earnings Study’ conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. The study found that Individuals who complete an RA program will earn substantially higher wages over their lifetime.  The study, An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States, found that over a career of 36 years, participants who completed an RA program had average earnings gains of nearly a quarter million dollars ($240,037, increasing to $301,533 with employer benefits added) compared to nonparticipants.  

As 2012 came to a close we also highlighted an NBC news piece written by Christopher Connell with the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news organization that is focused on producing in-depth education journalism (according to their Web site’s “About Us” section).  The article focuses on the increasingly common partnerships RA programs develop with their post-secondary education counterparts, often community colleges, to provide apprentices with not only skills training and career preparation, but also the opportunity to earn a degree.  The article includes examples from our Trailblazer and Innovator-recognized programs, including the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (Washington), and The Apprentice School (Virginia).  The piece also includes quotes from Senator Patty Murray’s remarks during this summer’s above-mentioned Registered Apprenticeship Education and Action Summit.  It’s a great piece that also highlights the opportunities RA is offering workers from all walks of life, including the inspirational story of female apprentice Jessica Bush, a Local 86 Ironworkers’ apprenticeship participant.  For more on the article, click here:  Economic reality marries age-old idea -- apprenticeships -- with college”.

2012 was a year of innovation, expansion into new industries, and a re-focused awareness of the opportunities traditional industries continue to provide U.S. workers.  We look forward to working with our partners and stakeholders to make 2013 another great year to spread the word on the advantages RA offers to learn a skill and build a career.  We hope you continue to follow us here on the Community of Practice as we try to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship is making a difference in the lives of U.S. workers.    

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