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.
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:
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
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.
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.