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Update:  August 1 (7:45 a.m. EDT) We mentioned earlier that Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis joined our “Trailblazer and Innovator” Registered Apprenticeship programs being recognized for their innovative efforts to train U.S. workers.   For more on the “meet and greet”, including photos of the event,  be sure to check out the Secretary’s blog post by visiting the Department of Blog Page

Also be sure to join us via Live Webcast TODAY, August 1 from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT for the OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate - Registered Apprenticeship National Education and Action Summit in Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.  To access the Live Webcast, follow the link below.

Registered Apprenticeship “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate” National Education and Action Summit

or visit:

UPDATE: July 31st – During a “meet and greet” today, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis joined leaders from throughout the Registered Apprenticeship system to recognize the achievements their programs have had in developing apprenticeship programs that represent the 21st Century Vision as laid out by the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship.  These “Trailblazer and Innovator” programs were highlighted today during the meet and greet with Secretary Solis here at the U.S. Department of Labor.  These programs will also be recognized during the Wednesday, August 1 OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate - Registered Apprenticeship National Education and Action Summit in Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.   

For more information on our “Trailblazer and Innovator” programs, CLICK HERE to download one-page overviews on all of the programs being recognized. 

Also be sure to remember to join us via
Live Webcast next Wednesday, August 1 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. E.T.  See below for more on how to join the event via Webcast.

UPDATE:  FOR RELEASE: We are excited to share the Agenda for our Wednesday, August 1 OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate - Registered Apprenticeship National Education and Action Summit in Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.  ACCESS THE AGENDA HERE

Registered Apprenticeship will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act, which established the National Apprenticeship System, on Wednesday August 1, 2012 during the Registered Apprenticeship “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate” National Education and Action Summit.

The Summit will take place on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  E.T. and will feature leaders and stakeholders from across the National Apprenticeship System.  In addition, the Summit will feature recently selected "Innovator and Trailblazer" Registered Apprenticeship programs that represent the dedication to excellence on display around the country.  These innovative programs represent a new vision for how Registered Apprenticeship will meet the needs of U.S. industry and the workforce in the 21st Century.

This Summit will serve to both recognize the rich history of Registered Apprenticeship over the past 75 years and highlight the role it will play in training U.S. workers in the 21st century.  Since 1937, the National Registered Apprenticeship System has been a leader in preparing America's workforce with skills that help keep U.S. companies competitive.  

Registered Apprenticeship’s ‘Earn While You Learn” strategy to train workers for 21st century skills is what makes the U.S. workforce the best trained, most highly skilled workforce in the world. 

Be sure to join via Live Webcast next Wednesday, August 1 from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. E.T.
Click below to access:

Registered Apprenticeship “OutEducate OutBuild OutInnovate” National Education and Action Summit

or visit:





This summer, we’ll be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the passage of the National Apprenticeship Act.  In honor of this important milestone, the Department of Labor (DOL) in partnership with the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA), is launching a search to identify the Trailblazers and Innovators of 21st Century Registered Apprenticeship.

We want to hear from you!

We are calling on you to nominate programs, practices, strategies, or partnerships that demonstrate an innovation or trailblazing effort that you believe has had significant impact on the history of Registered Apprenticeship and/or has implications for Registered Apprenticeship in the 21st Century. Selected programs, practices, strategies or partnerships may be showcased in a major report to the Secretary of Labor or during this summer’s National Action Summit on Registered Apprenticeship tentatively scheduled for August 16th.

Can you answer YES to one or more of the questions below?

  • Is your Registered Apprenticeship program one that is helping define 21st Century Apprenticeship?
  • Are you helping to expand Registered Apprenticeship into new and existing industries?
  • Are you a trailblazer in forming new partnerships involving Registered Apprenticeship programs or sponsors with workforce, educational, or community-based organizations?
  • Do you engage in an innovative Registered Apprenticeship practice that helps provide solutions to current workforce challenges?
  • Are you helping to increase Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for under-represented populations including women, minorities, youth, veterans, and people with disabilities?
  • Have you crafted innovative policies that create economic development benefits or improve our economic competitiveness using Registered Apprenticeship?

Join us in celebrating 21st Century Registered Apprenticeship

The links below will provide all you need to know to get started: 

Trailblazers and Innovators Fact Sheet

Trailblazers and Innovators One-Pager

Trailblazers and Innovators Call For Nominations

Trailblazers and Innovators Checklist

Trailblazers and Innovators Q and A

Trailblazers and Innovators Full Package (includes all of the documents listed above)


Individuals who complete a Registered Apprenticeship program will earn substantially higher wages over their lifetime according to a study released today by the U.S. Department of Labor.  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 the Registered Apprenticeship program had average earnings gains of nearly a quarter million dollars ($240,037, increasing to $301,533 with employer benefits added) compared to nonparticipants.  After accounting for costs such as taxes, the net benefits for those who complete a Registered Apprenticeship program are $233,828.  Even when individuals who participated in but did not complete Registered Apprenticeship are added to the analysis, the estimated average earnings gains for all participants is still an impressive $98,718 ($123,906 with employer benefits) over their careers.  Taking into account various costs the estimated net benefits for all RA participants are $96,911. 

Registered Apprenticeship is a career-training program that offers structured on-the-job training combined with related technical instruction tailored to industry needs.  The program, created in 1937, seeks to produce well-trained workers whose skills are in high demand.  In 2011, almost 400,000 people across the nation were enrolled in the program.  Registered Apprenticeship is administered by the Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Apprenticeship within the U.S. Department of Labor, in conjunction with State Apprenticeship Agencies.  Apprenticeship programs range from one to six years and are offered in approximately 1,000 occupations, including the traditional skilled trades such as electrician, plumber, and carpenter, as well as occupations including wind turbine technician, health informatician and geothermal & well-drilling operator.  For apprentices, RA provides on-the-job training, related technical instruction, incremental wage increases as skills are attained, and, upon completion, nationally recognized certification in the chosen career area.  RA programs are delivered by sponsors—employers, employer associations, and labor management organizations.  Sponsors cover the costs of training, wages paid to apprentices, costs of managing the program, and costs associated with time spent by senior employees to mentor and train apprentices.

This study, led by principle investigator Debbie Reed of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., assesses the effectiveness of Registered Apprenticeship and performs a cost-benefit analysis of the program.  The report measures the net effects of apprenticeship for participants as well as the social costs and benefits of Registered Apprenticeship across a variety of state settings.  It also examines the barriers that women face in Registered Apprenticeship and the best practices for promoting their success.  In addition, the report explores whether federal and state administered RA programs have patterns of differences in the programs themselves and their outcomes.  

The study focused on 10 states selected to vary in program features and labor market characteristics, including program size, region, the degree of union representation in the state, administrative type (federal or state), and the degree to which RA is concentrated in a few occupations.  The states are Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Key Research Findings
  • RA participants had substantially higher earnings than did nonparticipants.  Over their career of 36 years, participants who completed the RA program had average earnings of nearly a quarter million dollars ($240,037, increasing to $301,533 with employer benefits added).  After accounting for costs, the net benefits for RA completers are $233,828.  Even when non-completers are added to the analysis, the estimated average earning gains for all participants is still an impressive $98,718 ($123,906 with employer benefits) over their careers.  Taking into account various costs such as taxes, apprentices pay on earnings gains, the estimated net benefits for RA participants are $96,911. 
  • The social benefits of the RA program appear to be much larger than the social costs.  Over the career of an apprentice, the estimated social benefits of RA exceed the social costs by more than $49,000.
  • The report finds that female apprentices expressed positive views of RA but recommends some changes to promote women’s success.  The data demonstrates that women participate in RA at lower rates than men and are concentrated in social service occupations (mainly child care and health care).  In the 2010 cohort, women made up only 9 percent of new apprentices.  Women are much less likely than men to enroll in the traditional skilled trades and, when they do, they are less likely than men to complete RA.  The women interviewed see their participation in RA as a pathway to career advancement and higher pay.  Those interviewed suggested strategies to enhance the success of women in RA: undertaking targeted outreach campaigns, building women’s basic skills, helping women develop accurate expectations about particular occupations, adequate child care, assisting employers to enforce policies to combat harassment at male-dominated worksites, and peer groups for support and encouragement. 
  • RA programs are largely similar in states federally administered by the OA states and SAA states.  Modest differences were found between OA and SAA states in terms of the demographics, occupational distribution, completion rates, and earnings gains of apprentices. The most notable difference was that SAA states are more easily able to create partnerships with the workforce system and educational institutions because they are part of the same state government.




It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of long-time Executive Director of the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and tireless champion of the Registered Apprenticeship system, Stephen Mandes.  Stephen’s dedication to the manufacturing industry and its workers and his strong belief in the use the Registered Apprenticeship model to produce the best trained, highly skilled manufacturing workforce in the world goes unrivaled.  For as long as many of us can recall, Stephen Mandes represented all that is right in the efforts to train US workers and advancing the public-private partnership between NIMS and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.  We will miss Steve’s leadership, his integrity, his energy.  But most importantly, we will miss friendship and ability to make all those around him feel welcomed and involved.  As news of his passing has circulated throughout the Registered Apprenticeship Community, his colleagues and friends have summed up his impact on all of us so well that we are sharing some of them here. 


Steve was an incredible man. His commitment to the work was done with such incredible kindness and grace.” – Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA)


I was very saddened to hear the news about Steve Mandes.  I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Steve on my first tour with the ACA from 2002—06.  Steve also presented at several National Association of State and Territory Apprenticeship Directors (NASTAD) conferences.  He was a gentleman and was passionate about apprenticeship.   His presence and the knowledge that he brought to the table will be sorely missed.” -  Mark Maki, ACA Member and President of NASTAD


What a sad day for all members. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and I will think of him in our future meetings. What a great friend.” – Stephen Brown, member of the ACA and Director of the Construction Training Department for the International Union of Operating Engineers.


I am very saddened to learn of Steve’s passing. As a newcomer to the ACA, I really appreciated his leadership and willingness to share ideas and resources. Whether we agreed or disagreed on the many issues addressed by the committee, Steve was always straightforward and honest in his contributions. Steve was a great supporter of registered apprenticeship, an accomplished businessman and an exceptional human being and LIUNA collectively mourns his loss.”  - Bernadette Oliveira-Rivera, ACA member and Fund Administrator for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)

I will certainly miss Steve as will all who knew him.  His professional contributions to the U.S. manufacturing industry and registered apprenticeship were many. But, in addition, I will always remember Steve as a consummate gentleman and friend.” – Bob Baird, ACA member and Vice President of Training and Development for the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)


Steve was always open and willing to share the history and background related to the issues we work on.  I personally was grateful for his thoughtful insight and will miss his humorous disposition. We have lost one of the good guys, it's a sad day.” – Daniel Villao, ACA member and State Director for the California Construction Academy, UCLA Downtown Labor Center


On December 8, 2015 the Office of Apprenticeship and the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices held the American Apprenticeship Grantee Introductory Technical Assistance Webinar to discuss the technical assistance plan for the American Apprenticeship grantees. 

We’ve uploaded the webinar slides and provided a link to the webinar recording.  

Follow the link below to access the AAI Grantee Introductory Technical Assistance Webinar slides.  Once there, click “Download Now” to the right of the page to download the slides.  

AAI Grantee Introductory Technical Assistance Webinar slides 


To hear the full recording of the Webinar, click the link below:


We hope these resources are helpful to you.  Please feel free to download, review and share with your grant partners.