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Mike Shiffer from Alaska's Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Business Partnerships wanted to share that they just celebrated their annual apprenticeship conference.  Also, he encourages those interested to see Alaska’s website www.earnandlearnak.org  This website has several informational pieces in over twenty languages related to apprenticeship including to Alaska native languages.  Really, it has over 20 languages including my native language- Vietnamese.  Cam on (thank you)









Editor's Note:  Our guest blogger is Susan Symons from the Kansas Department of Commerce.  What do you think about her message to the AP writer?

Dear AP Writer,

Well, I read today’s ACTE ezine article- More US Students Requiring College Remedial Education that made me gasp! 

“The AP (5/12, Armario) reports, "Nationwide, about a third of first-year students in 2007-08 had taken at least one remedial course, according to the US Department of Education. At public two-year colleges, that number rises to about 42 percent." To address this disparity, "the Obama administration is pushing states to adopt tougher standards, and governors and education leaders across the country are working together to propose a uniform set of common standards." Others, however, argue that "the problem points to the need to develop alternative forms of job training for people who aren't academically inclined and are unlikely to finish college," and suggest solutions such as "an apprenticeship program similar to those offered in Finland, Japan and Germany."

We know that people need the same skills for success in life, with higher skills and post-secondary education and training being requisite for all but a fraction of jobs.  So why talk about alternate training programs and then cite Registered Apprenticeship with the implication being that Registered Apprenticeship is that “alternate training” model for those not “academically challenged.”  The author of this AP article obviously does NOT understand the complex skills needed and the status that Registered Apprenticeship holds in Finland, Japan and Germany! 

Yours truly,
Susan

News from across the pond... in the United Kingdom (UK), the government is making apprenticeship a focus of workforce development, particularly for training workers in the fast-growing healthcare field.  The British have developed "job roles," or our work processes for scores of occupations.  Please check out the May 2010 newsletter and website to see some of their common-sense innovations.

We are happy to announce that the 2009 Office of Apprenticeship Program Guide is now available here on the Registered Apprenticeship Community of Practice (COP) to be viewed and downloaded.  The Program Guide reflects the hard work and dedicated efforts of the entire Registered Apprenticeship system.  I would like to personally thank all of our staff, sponsors, apprentices and stakeholders for making 2009 a very successful year despite a declining economy which created financial challenges our country has seen only rarely in the over 75 years since Registered Apprenticeship was established through the Fitzgerald Act of 1937.  As you will see as you read the Program Guide, even in this difficult economic climate the Registered Apprenticeship system was able to make great strides in some very important areas.  Following the October 2008 issuance of revised regulations, a major accomplishment in itself, 2009 marked the start of efforts by our system to implement the new regulations, which among other things, increased flexibility and allowed for multiple training approaches for employers to select which path best serves an apprentice’s or employer’s needs. 

2009 also saw us expand our partnerships and strategies to meet the needs of emerging sectors related to Renewable Energy and Health Information Technology, while continuing to assist traditional industries such as Construction.  The Program Guide details some of those accomplishments and also highlights our efforts to integrate the Registered Apprenticeship system with the public workforce and education systems through the Collaborate for Success Action Clinics initiative - which we are continuing in 2010. 

I hope the Program Guide not only highlights our accomplishments, but also provides a good research tool for those of you who want to learn more about Registered Apprenticeship, how it works, and how it can assist you or your organization in preparing yourself, or your workforce with 21st century skills.

Click here to read and download the 2009 Office of Apprenticeship Program Guide.

John V. Ladd
Administrator, Office of Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship in the State of Delaware.

 

I approached a good friend of mine, Kevin Calio, Apprenticeship & Training Manager for the State of Delaware’s registered apprenticeship system and information on their system to report on activities in Delaware.  Kevin was kind enough to provide me with the following information.

There are 281 active apprenticeship program sponsors in the state with 1,053 active registered apprentices of which 104 are women.   There have been 83 apprentices graduated from the programs so far this fiscal year and it is expected that there will be significant completion activity in the next three months.  The active numbers of registered apprenticeship sponsors in Delaware is at its lowest in the last ten years because of the current economic climate.

 

The vast majority of Delaware’s registered apprentices are in the construction trades, which is not unlike most, if not all states in this country.  In Delaware, there is a state subsidized vocational-technical (Vo-Tech) adult education system for related instruction, which the vast majority of apprentices use.  Delaware has a relatively strict system and there is a mandatory drop from the program if an apprentice has greater than five school absences.  There is a state-wide uniform curriculum utilizing *NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) materials.

When I asked Kevin about any linkages or activity with the Workforce Investment System, Kevin mentioned that there has not been any significant linkages made up to the present time.  We discussed the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship’s interest in establishing those linkages and the Action Clinics that were held in the mid-west and western parts of the country and that there are tentative plans to hold Action Clinics on the east coast.  As with many states, there is concern that the pressure is put on the apprenticeship side to link with the workforce side but it’s not necessarily true of the opposite.  Again, it’s the same response from all over, but I found that the Action Clinics have made a difference and have started both sides talking about integration.

 

Delaware’s Apprenticeship office is actively visiting worksites to verify ratio and pay rates compliance.  Kevin informed me that unlike many other states, the apprenticeship office is not located in the workforce side but in the industrial relations side and that he is considered to be in labor law enforcement.

Kevin can be contacted at:

Kevin Calio

Delaware Dept of Labor

Apprenticeship & Training Manager

225 Corporate Blvd

Suite 104

Newark, DE 19702

(302) 451-3419 Phone

(302) 368-6604 Fax

Kevin.calio@state.de.us

*NCCER is headquartered in Gainesville, Fla., and is affiliated with the University of Florida's M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction

 

Submitted by John Griffin

jgriffbat@aol.com