The Boston Action Clinic Diaries: Day Two

Posted by Thao Nelson - On September 29, 2010 (EST)

Submitted by Laura Ginsburg:

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.

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Modified On : September 29, 2010
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