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Submitted by Laura Ginsburg:

We just concluded the opening panel on Policy, Strategic Planning and Resource Alignment.  Teams are now together with their facilitators beginning to work on their Action Plans.  What a powerful panel we had this morning:  Peggy Torrey, deputy secretary for Workforce in South Carolina, Wes Jurey, the president and CEO of the Arlington, Texas Chamber of Commerce, as well as chair of the Texas Workforce Council and member of the U.S. DOL Advisory Committee and Janet Howard, deputy director of Michigan’s bureau of workforce transformation.  This group was especially exciting because both Wes Jurey and Janet Howard had been part of state teams at previous clinics and were on the panel today to tell how their states were now making Registered Apprenticeship a more central part of workforce development.

Peggy Torrey, who has spoken at a number of the clinics, told the story of how South Carolina began to embrace Registered Apprenticeship after the Chamber of Commerce had a recommendation from an expert from Switzerland who suggested that the state stop emphasizing a four-year degree for everyone and focus on training individuals for the jobs of the future.  Leaders developed a partnership with the WIA system, education, business and the DOL Office of Apprenticeship to expand the model throughout the state.  The state uses all appropriate funds to support Registered Apprenticeship and has a $1,000 tax credit to business for each apprenticeship they hire.  South Carolina has more than tripled the number of apprentices since the program began in 2007 and expanding the kinds of apprenticeships in new industries.

Wes Jurey explained that after returning from the Dallas clinic in 2009, Texas incorporated a strategy into the state plan that included Registered Apprenticeship.  The state developed pilot and demonstration projects for information technology, energy, community health care and advanced manufacturing.  The chosen projects are not given a grant but rather technical assistance and support from every level of the state.  This means that educational entities will partner with them to provide curriculum and classes and One-Stops can allocate eligible funds and resources to train and employ apprentices in their occupations.  Texas has a program that supports the related instruction for apprentices.

Michigan had always known about and supported Registered Apprenticeship, but it was after the Chicago clinic in 2008, that the state formed a team and strategy to better use Registered Apprenticeship, explained Janet Howard.  The state started out with a $1million program to support 1,000 apprentices.  The funds didn’t go far enough for the need, so it was expanded to a $5 million program where $3,000 goes to the apprentice and $2,000 to the employer.  Much of the funding has been used to support apprenticeships in new and high growth industries including IT, healthcare, and green energy.

The New Jersey team just requested to see Janet and Peggy for consultation.  Yea!!  Maybe New Jersey will be talking about their transformation at the next clinic.

Day 1 of the Boston Region’s Registered Apprenticeship Action Clinic is in the books and things are off to a great start.  Following pre-conference tours of a local IBEW Training Center and a local One Stop Center, along with the Pre-Apprenticeship Listening Session Ben Kushner blogged about earlier today (thanks Ben) – the conference kicked off with an outstanding Keynote message from Andrew Cortes, Director of the ‘Building Futures’ program in Rhode Island and a recently announced member of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship.  Andrew’s message spoke directly to the need for collaborations that include the Public Workforce, Education and Registered Apprenticeship systems working together to provide workers and young people a chance to show their abilities and learn skills that will pave their way to long-term rewarding careers.  Partnership was the theme as Andrew stressed the need for collaborations among employers, workforce associations, labor-management organizations, post-secondary educators, and the public workforce system – all to help meet employers’ need for skilled workers and to provide workers a path to the middle class.  Be sure to stay tuned for a full length video of Andrew’s remarks here on the Community of Practice (and hear more on Andrew’s incredible personal journey that helped shape his mission to offer all young adults a chance for a good education and solid career path).


Following Andrew’s remarks, he joined a panel of experts for a session titled, “Why the Public, Business, and Labor Demand that We Work Together,” which focused on examples of how the types of partnerships mentioned above are being used successfully in different areas.  Highlights included the personal experiences of Phoebe Ryles, a female apprentice currently serving her Registered Apprenticeship through a program with the Carpenters Local 40, in Cambridge, MA; and the progress of varying practitioners in advancing partnerships that utilize Registered Apprenticeship.  Judging from the reaction of the audience and the numerous questions they had for the panelists, I recommend coming back for the video of that panel also in the coming days.  It was a great start to the week!  Tomorrow, State teams will begin to focus on developing their own strategies to partner, collaborate and share resources to help assist workers in their States….


Well that’s all for today, be sure to check back tomorrow for more highlights from Day 2 of the Collaborate for Success: Partnering with Registered Apprenticeship Action Clinic.


Submitted by Ben Kusher:

This morning, twenty attendees joined the listening session on Pre-Apprenticeship with the Office of Apprenticeship and Administrator John Ladd.  Some ideas that emerged from our discussion:

  • Pre-Apprenticeship programs should be linked to or recognized by Registered Apprenticeship programs.  Connections should be made with sponsors, employers, or unions.
  • Training should be geared toward specific occupations that exist in your local area.  Address the specific training needs of your employers and tailor the needs to specific activity such as commercial construction vs. residential construction.
  • Pre-Apprenticeship programs should tell the truth about what’s expected in the real world: professional behavior, arriving early to work to be ready, preparedness, etc.
  • Programs need case management to help remove barriers to employment: job readiness, transportation, time management, drug testing and awareness.
  • Much discussion focused on soft-skills development: who should receive it? (Almost everyone based on assessments or screening) what should be included? (Understanding work place culture, time management, and professional behavior, to mention only a few) and the length of the training (as little as a few weeks or as much as a year or more, depending upon circumstances). 
  • Programs should consider the selection process early: screen for soft skill development and referral to support services and training; bring sponsors and unions in early to work together on the screening process.  Sponsors and unions should be telling new Pre-Apprentices: this is what we do, how we do it, what we expect from you.
  • Advisory committees that include members from your targeted populations should be a part of Pre-Apprenticeship programs.  Those individuals understand the market place and the culture of the population in question. 
  • Replicate a real job experience.  Ask the Pre-Apprentice whether or not they have child care under control.  Do they have a back up and a back up for the back up.  Emphasize that they cannot be late for the training.  Employers do not tolerate lateness or child care challenges.
  • Understand that remedial training cannot be one size fits all. 
  • Conduct group interviews and train for interviews by emphasizing the shortness of most candidate-employer meetings and how important it is to create a positive image early.
  • Include a hands-on component or job shadowing.



The Office of Apprenticeship is excited to announce we will be joining our colleagues in Boston for the fourth in a series of Action Clinics focused on increasing the use of Registered Apprenticeship in Regional and State workforce and education strategies to create increased employment opportunities for U.S. workers.  The clinics, Collaborate for Success: Partnering with Registered Apprenticeship will be held this week, September 28-30, and will be attended by State teams from throughout the Boston Region, including: Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, the Virgin Islands, Rhode Island, New York.  The Philadelphia region will also be sending a team from West Virginia.  

The goal of the clinics is to share successful examples of strategies that utilize integrated partnerships among the Registered Apprenticeship, Public Workforce, and Education systems to increase training options for workers and advance efforts to meet employer needs.  This week’s clinic will kick off with a Keynote Address from Andrew Cort?s, Director of the ‘Building Futures’ program in Rhode Island.  Andrew was recently announced as a member of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship.  Building Futures is both a program that helps prepare low income adults in urban areas for rewarding careers in commercial construction; and an initiative that partners to expand entry-level training opportunities in the trades through proven Registered Apprenticeship programs.  Throughout the week, State teams will hear examples of best practices and solutions-based strategies, and then work together to develop integrated strategies that address the workforce and training needs in their area.

We look forward to sharing the innovative approaches and exciting outcomes that result from bringing together experts from the Registered Apprenticeship, Public Workforce, and Education systems.  We will be sure to post more info here on the COP following the Action Clinic and look forward to helping you expand your options for utilizing Registered Apprenticeship in your area.  

Check out the Action Clinics tab here on the COP for more information and the complete agenda.  Also be sure to stay tuned for live blogs from our OA staff and other participants throughout the week.   

On Monday, September 20, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced the appointment of the new members of the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA).  The announcement of the members is exciting news for all of us here in the Office of Apprenticeship and the entire Registered Apprenticeship system.  The new members represent leadership from throughout the Registered Apprenticeship system and its partners.  ETA Assistant Secretary Jane Oates will serve on the committee as an ex-officio member, and Ms. Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Chief Executive Officer of Green for All, has been selected as the ACA Chairperson.

The members of this committee, scheduled to hold their inaugural meeting on October 27 & 28, 2010, in Washington, DC, will provide recommendations to the Secretary, and the Office of Apprenticeship on a wide variety of issues, and offer advice on developing strategies that use the Registered Apprenticeship model to help fulfill Secretary Solis’s commitment to ensuring ‘good jobs for everyone’.  

In announcing the members of the ACA, Secretary Solis made the following statement:

"This administration is committed to building partnerships that strengthen our economy and create opportunities that lead to good jobs for everyone," said Secretary Solis. "I will look to the ACA for recommendations on increasing the use of Registered Apprenticeships as a means to develop career pathways for diverse populations in green construction, health care and other growing industries."

Click here to view the full news release.

We want to congratulate the new members!  We look forward to working with them as we continue advance Registered Apprenticeship to help U.S. workers access the very best in training and employment opportunities that offer good pay and long-term success.

Are Your Programs Rolling with the Changes?

Below you will find a couple of mid-West RAPs solutions to addressing today’s economic downturn. Hopefully, you will share these case studies with other parties interested in advancing the efforts of the US-DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship.



The Department of Energy today announced a series of public events to exchange information on the development of offshore wind energy in the United States.  In these events, Energy’s Wind and Water Power Program will outline the vision it has developed to guide the U.S. in creation of a world-leading offshore wind industry;  focusing on ways in which the various interested sectors (i.e. academia, industry, state and local governments, the public at large) can harmonize their efforts to address barriers to deployment.

During those meetings, and via emailed responses, the Program is welcoming comments from interested individuals on the draft document entitled: Creating an Offshore Wind Industry in the United States: A Strategic Work Plan for the United States Department of Energy, Fiscal Years 2011-2015

Comments are welcome through October 29, 2010. The first event was held in Washington D.C. on September 16. 

Future events:

September 21, 2010; Seminar entitled Creating an Offshore
Wind Industry in the United States: A National Vision and Call to
Action; Cleveland, Ohio;

September 28, 2010; Seminar entitled Creating an Offshore
Wind Industry in the United States: A National Vision and Call to
Action; Washington, DC.

Comments may be submitted electronically to

Click here for additional information on the meetings.



Impact of Apprenticeship in the Federated States of Micronesia



The Federated State of Micronesia is comprised of the four Island states of the State of Kosrae, Yap, Chuuk and the Nation’s capital of Pohnpei. Similar to most nations, FSM has a preponderance of foreign workers within the nation. This is due to the lack of skilled local workers. An Education Summit was held at the College of Micronesia-FSM and increase in foreign workers issue was addressed.  The College of Micronesia being the only college in the FSM was tasked to provide the means to resolve this issue. Therefore as a means of resolution, the Registered Apprenticeship Program was identified and adopted to be use as one method of training and building the skills of the local labor to reduce the importation of foreign workers.


The Apprenticeship program has been utilizes in the past by our Government official as a means of training the local workforce. And many who successfully completed the program have become company supervisors and   several have even become company managers. These are results and evidence in which the Apprenticeship program was re-introduced. It has proven successful in the FSM.


Through Mr. Alfred Valles State Director of Apprenticeship and Training, the College of Micronesia –FSM became a Sponsor of the Apprenticeship Program. This was the first step taken to implement this program in the FSM. As recommended by Mr. Valles an  FSM Apprenticeship Coordinator was hired by the college to coordinate the program and an Apprenticeship Committee was formed to overlook the standards and the legitimacy of the program through out the FSM. The Apprenticeship Coordinator received Apprenticeship Coordinator’s training at the Hawaii office of Apprenticeship in Honolulu which certified him to administer and promote apprenticeship for the Federated States of Micronesia.  The  FSM Apprenticeship committee includes representatives from COM-FSM, Pohnpei State Government and Private Sectors.


A trip was taken to the other FSM States of Kosrae, Yap and Chuuk to promote and share the experiences that the apprenticeship program has provided to the state of Pohnpei. Without hesitation the government officials in all states visited, as well as the general population were all interested in implementing the program in their respective states. This is all due to the facts and successes produced in Pohnpei and of benefits the program has to offer everyone. As direct results of the promotions and visits, the program started out with one Sponsor and now has 6 sponsors as of today and more are in development. The current FSM sponsors registered by USDOL, Office of Apprenticeship are:


1.     Yap Public Service Corporation

2.     FSM Telecom

3.     Department of Pohnpei Public Safety

4.     Pohnpei Utilities Corp

5.     Pohnpei State Government

6.     College of Micronesia –FSM


All the sponsors have different occupations thus allowing us to address various trades hence building our skilled local labor force that will help supplant the foreign workers.


All that have successfully completed their apprenticeship training have received their journeyman certificate which clearly indicates that they are well trained and very skillful in their occupation. The training has given them the competency and skills to improve productivity on the job, received salary increases which is necessary for family welfare in these islands. They are providing the technical services that are beneficial to the community through a stable career. Compliments brought about since the adoption of the apprenticeship program has led me to conclude that there is nothing but positive impact since the implementation of this program.


At this time a proposal has been submitted to develop and implement an improved training pathway for high school graduates in Pohnpei State through the U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship and College of Micronesia Technical and Trade Training Program.  It will provide a workable system to improve collaborations and coordination efforts between Pohnpei State Department of Education, College of Micronesia –FSM and the apprenticeship sponsors in Pohnpei, ensuring effective implementation of the USDOL Apprenticeship Program as proposed.


Grilly Jack

Apprenticeship Coordinator

College of Micronesia-FSM


Submitted to John Griffin by:  HawaiiPacific State Director Alfred B. Valles


Alfred B. Valles

State Director, Hawaii-Pacific 

Office of Apprenticeship, USDOL

300 Ala Moana Blvd.

Honolulu, HI 96850

Phn: (808) 541-2519




I grew up in southern Indiana surrounded by cornfields.  So on a recent road trip to Chicago, I was captivated by the wind turbine farms that have been strategically planted among the fields of corn.  This alternative, abundant energy source is the future and this video explains the art and science behind it.

It can take years to plan and engineer these state-of-the-art wind farms. It’s a problem-solving process that draws on an understanding of algebra, geometry, kinetic energy, electronics and just about everything in between in order to turn one of our most abundant natural resources into a viable business.

Do you have wind turbines in your neck of the woods?  If so, let us know where...