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Under Secretary Solis’s guidance, we have been challenged to re-connect youth and disadvantaged populations to the workforce through multiple career pathways.  I had an opportunity to attend two events that show real potential for some strategic partnerships to help address some parts of this challenge:  (1) a briefing series on Community Colleges at the Department of Education, and (2) a symposium on Capital Hill highlighting the results of four TRIO programs (Upward Bound, Talent Search, Upward Bound – Math/Science, and Student Support Services).

During the briefing at the Department of Education, Diane Troyer from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation talked about a post secondary initiative she is leading for the Foundation.  The more she talked about the need for low income students to obtain affordable credentials that have value in the workplace, are portable, with opportunities to earn and lean, the more I thought about the tremendous partnership opportunities for the Registered Apprenticeship community.

Likewise, the TRIO programs provide support to a pipeline of low income and 1st generation college students that are eager for opportunities that will help prepare them to better their lives through education, and skill attainment.

Although, the ultimate goal for TRIO programs are for students to obtain Bachelorette degrees, the role of the Community College in the students overall success was acknowledged and supported.  So why not encourage these students to obtain high school diplomas, Associates Degrees in conjunction with Registered Apprenticeship programs as well as Bachelorette and Master’s degrees?

The more we partner strategically, the more we position ourselves to provide youth and disadvantaged populations with a wealth of opportunities that provide them the with the education, credentialing and work skills necessary to truly boost our economy and maintain our future economic vitality.





Green Job Opening
Posted on May 25, 2009 by Thao Nelson
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All of this talk about green jobs and I found an open position related to Apprenticeship- Superintendent of Maintenance and Security at  Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. The Superintendent will play a key role in mentoring our young workforce as they participate in an apprenticeship program. Leadership training is a significant piece of the management role and will be shared with staff in the Education Department.

Let us know of green jobs in your area!
The Kansas Department of Commerce (Commerce) was awarded a USDOL grant in spring 2008. The grant, Registered Apprenticeship WORKS! (RA WORKS!), promotes entry-level certificates in Advanced Manufacturing and Energy and articulates into Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for dislocated workers.
RA WORKS! will enhance methods to identify dislocated workers, expand the current Advanced Manufacturing RA program, pursue the development of Wind Energy Technician as an apprenticeable occupation and build training capacity through distance learning.  Partners in the plan include the Kansas Apprenticeship Council, State & Local Workforce Investment Boards, Postsecondary Institutions, Kansas Board of Regents and Business and Industry.
The grant pays for qualified dislocated workers to earn multiple industry-related certificates, including the Kansas WORKReady! Certificate, Manufacturing Skill Certificate (MSC), and Energy & Process Industry Certificate (EPIC).  It will also fund the cost of Related Technical Instruction (RTI) for employers with a Registered Apprenticeship program in Advanced Manufacturing or Energy.
RA WORKS! was originally piloted in three Local Workforce Areas in Kansas, and all have experienced success with the model.  Now, with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars, Commerce is expanding RA WORKS! throughout the entire state.
ARRA dollars will also be used to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities through RA Scholarships.  The RA Scholarships program is available to companies and Joint Labor-Management programs that support Commerce’s critical industries which include: Advanced Manufacturing, Aviation, Bio-Science/Animal Health, Energy, Professional Services and Value-Added Agriculture, as well as Construction and Rural Business Succession.  The objective is to provide an incentive to hire dislocated and underemployed individuals into Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in strategic areas of the Kansas economy.
RA Scholarships will provide up to $500 per year per apprentice toward the cost of RTI for the first two years of training for any qualified dislocated or underemployed individual.
WIA Local Area funds may also be used for supportive services as needed and appropriate for either the RA WORKS! or the RA Scholarships.

A Message from Alfred B. Valles, State Director, Hawaii / Pacific

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship

The "School to Apprenticeship" meets Guam's military needs.  The military plans to relocate 8,000 U.S. Marines and their dependents from Okinawa to Guam by 2014. There also are plans to build an army base to provide missile defense. The existing Air Force and Navy presence also is expected to expand.  The latest price tag for these military expansion projects totals more than $20 billion. The Marine Corps move alone is expected to cost $15 billion. Between 10,000 and 20,000 additional skilled workers are needed for the military construction projects, and most of those workers will have to be brought in from Asia and the Pacific region, according to labor officials. The STA students will be graduating and entering registered apprenticeship programs about the same time when the demands for skilled workers for the Guam’s Military  build-up will be at a peak.

Eaton Hydraulics Registered Apprenticeship Program:
A competency based model for precision manufacturing


The Eaton Hydraulics registered apprenticeship program in Eden Prairie, Minnesota is quickly becoming a model for competency based apprenticeship.  There are three registered programs, all of which are based on the NIMS National Guideline Standards – Machinist, Tool and Die Maker, and Machine Tool Maintenance, Service and Repair Technician. 


The program was developed by Eaton in cooperation with the Minnesota Office of Apprenticeship with technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor and approval of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.  In all three programs, competencies are measured and tracked against NIMS national standards and the apprentices earn NIMS credentials as performance measures. The program is overseen by the Joint Committee comprised of management and union representatives and key employees from each of the three apprenticeship areas.  


Eaton’s registered apprenticeship has resulted in several firsts.  Dan Follmer became the nation’s first NIMS Certified Machine Tool Maintenance Technician and Goum Tham became the first NIMS Certified Tool and Die Maker.  Eaton’s Training Director Ron Krueger became one of the first to be certified under the newly developed NIMS certification for company training coordinators.  On Wednesday, May 27, at ceremonies at Eaton, the program will be awarded NIMS National Accreditation, the first industry program to achieve that distinction in Minnesota.


Eaton’s Krueger noted that the program “has made a difference for employees to better understand their positions and their jobs and allows them to better understand not only what they do but how and why and the goals they are trying to attain.”