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Over the next several months, we will be highlighting one of our Trailblazer and Innovator Registered Apprenticeship programs each week.  These programs represent the innovation and dedication that have become a symbol of the impact Registered Apprenticeship is having in helping American workers learn a trade, and start a career, and in helping U.S. businesses stay competitive in the 21st Century. 

These ‘SpotLights’ on our Trailblazers and Innovators will also hopefully help inspire your ideas and provide possible solutions to challenges you may be facing in your efforts to train workers.  Your peers have put these programs together and are happy to share their ideas and successes to better the larger Registered Apprenticeship community.   We hope these SpotLights are informative and useful.  We also hope they help get the word out on the innovations and strategies being used all over the country in multiple industries to train U.S. workers.

To kick-off our Spotlight feature, we felt it made sense to highlight the place where it all started: Wisconsin’s State Apprenticeship system.  In June 1911, Wisconsin became the first State to adopt an Apprenticeship law.  Wisconsin’s law was later used as the model for the National Apprenticeship Act, which established the national Registered Apprenticeship system.

Wisconsin has always been a leader in the Registered Apprenticeship community, with strong support from the State’s employers, employer associations, unions, and educators, all working together to help train Wisconsin’s workforce.

Karen Morgan, Director of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards and former president of the National Association of State and Territorial Apprenticeship Directors, had this to say about that collaborative effort;

“The dedication and commitment of a century’s worth of apprenticeship stakeholders – employers, unions, apprentices, technical colleges and state government – is a testament to the impact Registered Apprenticeship can, and does, have in raising the competitiveness of a workforce and the opportunity it gives to individual workers for long-term careers.”

Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship system is not only the first established in the U.S.; it’s also one of the most active today, 100 years after it began.  Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin has averaged more than 10,000 active apprentices in more than 200 different trades at any given time. 

Highlights of Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship trail-blazing program structure include:

  • A formal "Transition to Trainer" course that helps apprentices pass on their trade as a better Journeyworker.
  • Strong sponsor commitment, including agreement to pay apprentices while they attend related instruction.
  • More than 100 state and local trade advisory committees to help maintain and modernize programs.
  • Apprenticeship stakeholders partnering with technical colleges, the primary providers of related instruction

We encourage you to download and share this one-page overview to learn more on the Wisconsin State Apprenticeship System.   Also be sure to visit http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/apprenticeship/ for more on Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Wisconsin.

Stay tuned for a new Trailblazer SpotLight each week.  Next week, we’ll be highlighting the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA).

75 Years ago today, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the National Apprenticeship Act, which established the National Apprenticeship System.  The signing of the Act, also known as the Fitzgerald Act in honor of its author, Congressman William J. Fitzgerald (CT), set in motion an opportunity that 75 years later, has offered millions of U.S. workers the chance to use the "Earn While You Learn” strategy to prepare for careers in industries that have helped drive the American economy and supported countless American families in their efforts reach the middle class and live the American Dream.

Of the Act, Congressman Fitzgerald is on record as saying, “Mr. Speaker, this bill sets up In the Department of Labor an apprentice training system for the youth of this country….”  “This bill will provide a cloak of protection to put around boys and girls and encourage them to go back into the skilled trades, and in some localities today we have a crying need for trained and skilled workers.”

Fitzgerald’s words 75 years ago still ring true today as we continue efforts to train America’s young workers and ensure that the skilled trades represent the promise and dedication U.S. workers have shown since America’s beginnings.  This dedication among U.S. employers and labor-management organizations helps to ensure we have the best trained, most highly skilled workforce in the world.

On Wednesday August 1, 2012, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, along with her Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship, celebrated the efforts of labor-management organizations and employers in commemoration of the establishment of the Act during the Registered Apprenticeship “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate” National Education and Action Summit.   

The summit featured leaders and stakeholders from throughout the Registered Apprenticeship system created as a result of the signing of the Act.  To highlight the dedication and investment U.S. employers and labor-management organizations have given to support Registered Apprenticeship, the event showcased recently selected "Innovator and Trailblazer" Registered Apprenticeship programs that embody the innovation and commitment still on display today in the 21st century.  These innovative programs represent the opportunities Registered Apprenticeship offers workers today and in the future. 

The Summit celebrated the history of Registered Apprenticeship over the past 75 years, but maybe more importantly, discussions focused on the role it will play in training U.S. workers in the 21st century.  And following those discussions, it’s clear U.S. businesses still believe the ‘Earn While You Learn” model is as effective today as it was 75 years ago.

Today, Registered Apprenticeship still thrives in traditional industries such as Construction and Manufacturing, and is also expanding in growing industries, including Healthcare &Childcare, Transportation, Renewable Energy… even our Armed Forces. 

Additionally, today’s Registered Apprenticeship is working with post secondary institutions across the nation to ensure apprentices are able to earn college credits as they progress through an apprenticeship.  These efforts increase the earnings-value and long-term career security of an apprentice, leading to the opportunity for a degree while establishing high-level skills that keep America’s workforce competitive.   

The U.S. Department of Labor has also just released a study which found that over a career of 36 years, participants who completed a Registered Apprenticeship program had average earnings gains of nearly a quarter million dollars ($240,037).  The study, An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States found that the net benefits for those who complete a Registered Apprenticeship program are $233,828.  

To see more on the history of Registered Apprenticeship, and the direction it’s heading to meet the 21st century needs of U.S. workers and the industries they support, watch the OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate Summit – Opening video, which aired to kick-off the August 1 National Education and Action Summit.


For more from the Summit also be sure to view the Event Program Agenda, Summit Photos, and the archived version of the entire Summit proceedings via Live Webcast. 

ACCESS EVENT PROGRAM

ACCESS PHOTOS HERE

ACCESS ARCHIVED WEBCAST HERE

We continue our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series this week with a look at the Western Oklahoma Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (WOEJATC). WOEJATC is a joint venture of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) L. U. 1141 and the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

Created in 1945, the Western Oklahoma Electrical JATC offers apprentices a minimum of 900 hours of classroom instruction and 8000 hours of on-the-job training over a four year period. The WOEJATC Web Site states IBEW and NECA teamed to develop the committee to develop and maintain the best trained workforce in the Electrical Industry, offering apprentices the opportunity to earn wages and benefits while learning the skills necessary to be a successful Journeyman Electrician.

The WOEJATC was recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator program during the August 1 OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate National Education and Action Summit in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act. WOEJATC was recognized not only for their innovative and successful training strategies, but also for the efforts it makes to recruit youth and under-represented populations, including women and minorities, for electrical industry careers. WOEJATC also is proud of the opportunities they offer to our returning Veterans, which now represent 23% of the apprentices currently in training.

WWOEJATC Training Director Jim Monteith joined Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship, and leadership from throughout the Registered Apprenticeship system for the National Education and Action Summit. Mr. Monteith also accepted the Trailblazer and Innovator Certificate of Recognition.

Mr Monteith spoke on the meaning of being recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator program. “Being recognized by the Department of Labor, Secretary Solis and her Advisory Committee was an honor, and a testament to the investment and hard work we put into training our apprentices. At the Western Oklahoma Electrical JATC training is the key to our success. he apprenticeship model ensures our current generation of journeyman electricians pass on the knowledge and skills they’ve developed onto our next generation of inside wiremen.”

We encourage you to download and share this 1-Page Program overview for more on the Western Oklahoma Electrical JATC. Also, for more on the apprenticeship opportunities WOEJATC offers, please visit www.woejatc.org/.

Our Trailblazer and Innovator SpotLight series continues this week with a look at the West Virginia Apprenticeship for Child Development Specialist (ACDS).  West Virginia’s ACDS was recently honored as a Trailblazer and Innovator program during the August 1, “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate” National Education and Action Summit in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act. 

West Virginia’s ACDS program is dedicated to providing highly skilled, confident, early childhood employees; quality early childhood classrooms; and informed, supportive early childhood professionals.  Targeted at staff in child care centers, Head Start, preschool, school-age programs, public schools, and family childcare providers the program offers four semesters of training.  Apprentices receive 300 hours of course work and 3,200 to 4,000 hours of on-the-job experience.   

Upon completion of the program, apprentices will earn a nationally recognized Certificate of Completion from the U.S. Department of Labor.  ACDS apprentices are also able to apply the work they’ve completed through the apprenticeship towards college credit that could lead to an Associate’s Degree at several West Virginia community colleges.

The ACDS apprenticeship was selected as a Trailblazer and Innovator program as a result of its efforts to utilize the Registered Apprenticeship model to prepare workers in the Childcare industry.   ACDS was also recognized for the collaborative partnerships that have been developed to support apprentices and prepare them for careers as a Child Development Specialist.   ACDS partners with the State Office of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, the U.S. Department of Labor; the Bureau of Vocational, Technical and Adult Education; West Virginia Department of Education; River Valley Child Development Services; and local career centers.

ACDS State Coordinator Sherrie Barrett and Jennifer Conkle, ACDS Regional Coordinator represented the program at the National Education and Action Summit.  Ms. Barrett and Ms. Conkle also accepted the Trailblazer and Innovator Certificate of Recognition presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, and Administrator for the Office of Apprenticeship John V. Ladd.  After receiving the award, Ms. Barrett spoke proudly of West Virginia’s efforts to prepare apprentices to be expert-level Child Development Specialists.

“In West Virginia we believe early education is a key to ensuring children are excited about learning.  Using the Registered Apprenticeship model to train our Child Development Specialists has been very successful.   The ACDS program trains our apprentices to provide a positive, safe, and educational environment for children.  It is truly a collaborative effort and it speaks to the importance West Virginia puts on the early education of children.”

For more on the program, we encourage you to download and share the West Virginia Apprenticeship for Child Development Specialist.  Also be sure to visit www.wvacds.org for more on West Virginia's Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in early education.

 

As we continue our SpotLight series featuring Trailblazer and Innovator-recognized programs, it’s only fitting to follow our Wisconsin SpotLight, which featured the place where Registered Apprenticeship started, by featuring a program that has been a leader in the apprenticeship community for more than 100 years.    

The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, widely known as the UA, was established on October 11, 1889. 120 years later, the UA is still going strong.  Today the UA has over 40,000 registered apprentices training nationwide in 345 authorized training centers covering 284 registered apprenticeship programs, making it the largest registered apprenticeship program in the U.S. The organization credits the strength of their partnerships with various signatory contractors for the success of their program. This collaborative approach is essential to the effective development of a skilled and competitive workforce that is ready to meet current and future industry demands. Their investment in education ensures that all UA apprentices have access to the most innovative and rigorous training available, and that they graduate as highly-skilled, competitive journeyworkers, prepared for the challenges of today's growing construction industry. 

The UA was recently recognized as a Trailblazer and Innovator of Registered Apprenticeship during the Department of Labor’s National Education and Action Summit in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act.  UA Director of Training Chris Haslinger was on hand to receive the Certificate of Recognition presented by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.  Haslinger had this to say about UA’s long-standing commitment to the apprenticeship model:

“At the UA, excellence is not just a goal, it’s a requirement.  We believe that training our workforce using the apprenticeship model is the best way to ensure our workforce is the safest, the most productive, and the most competitive in the construction industry.  As apprentices become journeyworkers, they take pride in the hard work they’ve put in, and they understand the importance of passing the knowledge and skills they’ve developed on to the next generation of apprentices that come behind them.  That’s what Registered Apprenticeship is all about.” 

As we enter the 21st century, the UA continues to lead the way in innovation and commitment to make sure their membership is ready for the challenges that lay ahead.  The UA, in partnership with its signatory contractors, spends an estimated $240 million a year on training to ensure their members are prepared for the future.  With that type of investment, UA apprentices are given every opportunity to earn, learn, and succeed in the 21st century.

We encourage you to download and share this one-page overview to learn more on the UNITED ASSOCIATION of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada. 

Also be sure to visit http://ua.org/ for more on the UA’s Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in plumbing, pipefitting, sprinkler fitting, and HVACR.