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Editor's Note:  A message from the Office of Apprenticeship Administrator- John Ladd announcing the redesigned and enhanced Community of Practice.

In the Spring of 2009 we launched the Registered Apprenticeship Community of Practice (CoP) and asked all of you to join us to help build an online community where we could learn from one another, share successful approaches and models, and advance Registered Apprenticeship efforts and activities.  Thanks to you, our community has grown to become a nationwide network of resources, articles, best practices and personal stories and experiences specific to Registered Apprenticeship.

Over the last six months we have learned a lot about what the CoP could and should be for its members.  We took that new knowledge and worked to tweak the CoP to make it a user-friendly resource that we hope becomes part of your everyday routine in sharing, discussing and implementing programs and initiatives that use Registered Apprenticeship as a way to prepare workers for 21st century careers.  We are excited to launch this revamped version of the CoP, which includes a new design, improved functionality and navigation, enhanced opportunities for interaction, and fresh and timely content.  The redesigned Community now offers the following new features:

  • E-lert capability to provide you with daily updates about new CoP content;
  • An RSS feed to provide you with immediate news and image gallery updates;
  • A live chat feature that allows you to discuss ideas, challenges, solutions with your colleagues and with experts across the country…anytime, on-demand;
  • New resources related to “hot topics” such as green jobs and Recovery Act activities;
  • Reorganized menus and quick searches to help you find more targeted resources, faster, and in a multitude of ways;
  • Access to our Registered Apprenticeship communities on Facebook and Twitter;
  • Targeted Community space for stakeholder groups such as apprentices and sponsors;
  • Enhanced industry-specific tools and resources in sectors such as aerospace, geospatial technology, and healthcare; and
  • A wide array of fresh content, including videos, tutorials, marketing and outreach materials, and promising practices.

I also want to take this opportunity to alert you to a just-issued report, titled “The Greening of Registered Apprenticeship: An Environmental Scan of the Impact of Green Jobs on Registered Apprenticeship and Implications for Workforce Development,” which highlights the trends and activities of industries expected to drive the emerging green economy.  The report findings were compiled through a series of interviews with leaders in Registered Apprenticeship, including businesses and labor management organizations, to help identify the steps they are taking to prepare the U.S. workforce for the demands of a green economy.  The report provides a great opportunity to better understand the impact of a green economy and help direct policy and program development for green-related initiatives, and is now available through the Registered Apprenticeship CoP.  We encourage you to Read the Report and use it as a resource as you develop green strategies in your state or region.

We hope this redesign and the resources within the CoP meet your needs and expand the ability of all of us to share knowledge, collaborate and develop workforce solutions that keep U.S. workers the most skilled and most competitive workforce in the world.  We encourage you to sign up for daily e-lerts, real-time RSS feed updates, and other Community notifications.  The strength and usefulness of our Registered Apprenticeship Community comes from the contributions of its many members – so we hope you’ll continue to connect, engage, and innovate!

Thank you for your engagement and support.

John V. Ladd
Administrator, Office of Apprenticeship
U.S. Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration

Check out this Job Doc Blog that talks about employment-related questions from looking for a job to dealing with the one you have.  I found this Q&A yesterday and like Massachusett's approach.  How are you dealing with these job seekers who are looking for retraining money?

Q. I have been in hourly jobs that don't pay anything. I need a career with a future, and I don't want to go back to school. I need a skill, and I was told there is money for retraining available. Where is the retraining money, and for what kinds of jobs?

A. Many people are looking at opportunities to retrain, retool, and reframe their careers. There is grant money available and there are training programs to be found. The Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development ( has information on a broad range of training programs. You can search their site by many criteria including occupation, or key word. There are job training programs, and an education reward loan program for over 70 occupations. Contact your local Career Center for eligibility and information about the courses.

In addition, the US Department of Labor/Education and Training Administration has provided $300,000 grant to give low income women access to job training in the construction field. "BRICC", Building Real Careers in Construction, offers a free 6 week pre-apprenticeship training program sponsored by Action for Boston Community Development ( and The Building Trades Directors Association. The program offers training in math, computer applications and other critical skills needed for a successful career in the building trades. You will also be exposed to a range of trade careers paths including plumber, electrician, painter, bricklayer, and carpenter, and provided with information on joining a union. This pre-apprenticeship program prepares women for apprenticeship programs, with compensation starting at approximately $17 an hour.

The Massachusetts Division of Apprenticeship and Training reports that only 4% of registered apprentices in the building trades are female and federal and state regulations have a goal of increasing that to 25% which promises opportunity for women in the years ahead.

Women interested in qualifying for Boston-area apprenticeships can contact ABCD. According to Brad Howard (, Orientation Sessions are Tuesdays at 11:00 at 19 Temple Place in Boston, and the next program will begin in January 2010. The six week program runs from 8 am to 3 pm weekdays.
The Washington DC Joint  Apprenticeship and Training Committee has a blog series featuring five of their apprentices.  These students, all in different stages of the program, share their thoughts and feelings about life as an apprentice.  Check out  what they are saying about their experiences in the JATC apprenticeship program. 

Mark Thompson talks about his summer as a journeyman...

"It has been an interesting summer as a first year Journeyman. The challenges have been real, and the responsibilities--real but rewarding. I find myself referring back into what I have learned in dealing with some scenarios I see on the job. Just having a solid foundation of electrical concepts to stand on, a uniform way to operate...and the "network" is helpful.

The "network" is a collection of my classmates, lead Journeyman, foreman, project managers, superintendents....even a safety guy who I can call on for advice in situations where I have questions....or the other way around.....or even just to say "hey" and laugh with for a second...."  Click here to hear more about Mark's experience.

De-Skilling: A Misguided Strategy?


Stimulus funds have created much fervor towards the Greening of America. Unfortunately, as some win…others lose! To this end, while the US-DOL’s recent wage determination for the occupations highlighted below may appear appealing, they pose the unintended consequence of negatively impacting the trades that have traditionally performed these tasks (i.e., carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and sheet metal workers). Not to mention, shutting out non-traditionals (i.e., women and minorities) from true career pathways. In nearly every community across the US, each of the trades mentioned above have long-established US-DOL Registered Apprenticeship programs that provide career ladders and lattices with living wage and benefit packages versus low paying dead-end jobs. When the ARRA funds dry-up, where will these so-called Weatherization Installers and Technicians go? Equally important, how will these workers be trained…and by whom? In the interest of delivering a quality product to the taxpayers of this nation, it is high time agencies within the same Department coordinate their efforts in a manner consistent with promoting Registered Apprenticeship as a viable post-secondary option!

Green Occupation:
47-4099.03 - Weatherization Installers and Technicians

Green occupations will likely change as a result of the green economy. Green economy activities and technologies are increasing the demand for occupations, shaping the work and worker requirements needed for occupational performance, or generating new and emerging occupations.

Weatherization Installers and Technicians is a Green New & Emerging occupation — the impact of green economy activities and technologies is sufficient to create the need for unique work and worker requirements, which results in the generation of new occupations.



Recently I was made aware of a website that I found interesting and thought I would share it with everyone.  The website is which explains that in New Jersey an apprentice in the building and construction trades can be eligible to apply apprenticeship training towards a college degree.  The site has all the information and requirements along with contact information.  While looking at the site I asked a few OA State Directors if they had similar setups in their states and I found that:

The College of Southern Nevada offers a Certificate of Achievement and Associate of Applied Science Degree for 16 different trade union apprenticeship program.  Some programs even have different emphasis; such as the Operating Engineers have Equipment Operators, Heavy Duty Repairperson, Machinists, Oil Well Drillers, and Surveyors.  Each emphasis has an Associate of Applied Science Degree.  If you want more detailed information you can contact Deana Zelinik directly at 702-651-4163.

All the Building Trades Apprentices in Indiana are eligible to receive Associates Degrees from IVY Tech Community College.

In New Mexico, there are articulation agreements with Central New Mexico Community College for an Associates Degree.

The Community College of Rhode Island also gives credit from the Apprenticeship Program in a degree program.

In Alaska,  Apprentices can enroll into the AAS program as apprentices and it links directly to a Bachelors of Science in Technology (BST). this all happens through the Community and Technical College, of the University of Alaska system. The apprenticeship AAS program is underutilized so we are trying to jumpstart it and get some testimonials generated. An 8000 hour apprenticeship is worth 38 credits, and a 4000 hour apprenticeship is worth 19 credits, and so on. So far, the response from employers has been favorable - the degree will add value to the person and to their company.
The above are just a few of the states that recognize the value of registered apprenticeship and the experience it offers towards a college degree.  If you know of additional states, you might want to continue this blog to inform others of the availability or email me at and I will add it in.  You could also contact the OA State Director for the state in question and they can give you additional input.