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Registered Apprenticeship took center-stage on CNN’s ongoing “Where the Jobs Are” series last week.  This installment of the series, which highlights the experiences of employers and workers during the nation’s economic recovery, focused on a South Carolina-based Bosch Rexroth manufacturing program.  Through the program, apprentices work by night and attend Greenville Technical College (Greenville, SC) by day to gain advanced manufacturing skills.  The piece details the career opportunities Registered Apprenticeship provides and the benefits employers’ reap from training their own for the skills they demand.  The CNN segment also shows the changing face of today’s manufacturing worker, with companies now recruiting highly-skilled employees with advanced aptitude in math, communications and machining. 
Registered Apprenticeship’s ‘Earn While You Learn’ model is on full display as CNN takes a ‘day-in-the-life’ look at the experiences of a restaurant owner turned machinist who is working toward completion of his program.  Please post a comment on this great video as we'd love to hear your reactions and ideas on how to generate more coverage of your Registered Apprenticeship program.
Watch the Video Here. 

Editor's Note:  Ron Leonard is our guest blogger.  He wrote an article about the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship and wanted to share it with our community.  Thanks Ron for plugging the CoP in your article.

Mike McGraw had always been an ardent advocate of apprenticeship training and had worked with me in recent years to promote Registered Apprenticeship locally to members of the Philadelphia Suburban Plumbers Association.   As a past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Plumbing Heating & Cooling Contractors (PAPHCC), he requested that I submit an article about Registered Apprenticeship for inclusion in the Spring issue of PA CONTRACTORS  - the official magazine of the PAPHCC.  

See Page 18 of the magazine for the article, titled, “The Registered Apprenticeship Program”.

Ron Leonard
Apprenticeship and Training Representative (ATR)
Office of Apprenticeship, U.S. Department of Labor
Work is Not the Enemy
Posted on April 28, 2010 by Thao Nelson
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Have you seen "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel with Mike Rowe?  He's been promoting apprenticeships and even has a special page on his website.  Here's what he has to say about work and how steel-toed boots are back in fashion-

"Doesn’t it seem strange that we can have a shortage of skilled labor, a crumbling infrastructure, and rising unemployment? How did we get into this fix? Are we lazy? Our society has slowly redefined what it means to have a “good job.” The portrayals in Hollywood and the messages from Madison Avenue have been unmistakable. “Work less and be happy!” For the last thirty years we’ve been celebrating a different kind of work. We’ve aspired to other opportunities. We’ve stopped making things. We’ve convinced ourselves that “good jobs” are the result of a four year degree. That’s bunk. Not all knowledge comes from college. Skill is back in demand. Steel toed boots are back in fashion. And Work Is Not The Enemy."

Check out his website where he has a page for apprenticeship resources.  You can click on a state to find information on apprenticeships, vocational training and more.

Education Reform: At What Cost?


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is currently a topic of discussion across this nation. Renewal of ESEA (formerly known as NCLB) will surely have a number of stakeholders weighing in on what is good for our children and, thusly, our nation’s future. Meanwhile, school districts in nearly every state have closed schools at all levels or slashed vital programs (i.e., career and technical education). Some, in fact, are considering going to a 4-day school week in order to cut costs and still deliver a minimum level of service!


Measuring success is difficult and often framed in business terms. To this end, Diane Ravitch’s recently published book suggests that we reconsider how we measure success within our K-12 system. Education is a public good similar to the service delivered by our police officers and fire fighters. Do we fire police officers or close police stations when the crime rate goes up? The point is that we should not judge teachers, students, and/or schools solely on one measure: standardized tests.


This author highly recommends that RAPs get involved in framing the discussion above (See link below for a model). Sooner or later, you will be dealing with the product of the K-12 systems mentioned above. Now is the time to speak-up or be prepared to deal with potential remediation issues in the future!


Connecticut State Flag

Seventh Annual Apprenticeship Breakfast Held March 23 at State Capitol

Event honors “truly unique Connecticut contribution to the workplace”

WETHERSFIELD, CT- Continuing what has become an early spring tradition, legislative leaders, labor officials and community representatives gathered on March 23 at the State Capitol in Hartford to pay tribute to the state’s apprenticeship program during the seventh annual Apprenticeship Awareness Breakfast.

Sponsored by the Connecticut Joint Apprenticeship and Training Directors and the state’s apprenticeship community, this year’s program, titled “Apprenticeship: Green with Energy,” was held in Room 310 of the State Capitol.

Several speakers shared their experiences and talked about the job opportunities the program has provided for them. 

“Our Apprenticeship Breakfast gives us the opportunity to recognize this truly innovative program that has helped so many people ‘earn while they learn’ and also find their niche in the workforce,” explained Jack Guerrera, Connecticut Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Program Manager. “It also allows us to honor the late Congressman William Fitzgerald of Norwich, who represented Connecticut’s 2nd District, and is often referred to as the Father of Apprenticeship.”

A Norwich native, Congressman Fitzgerald represented the New London-Norwich area from 1937 to 1938. In addition to sponsoring the original legislation that led to the National Apprenticeship Act which was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, Fitzgerald also served as a Deputy Commissioner at the Connecticut Department of Labor, and as Mayor of Norwich.

Apprenticeship, is often referred to as ‘the other four-year degree,” for providing a successful combination of on-the-job training and classroom study.

“The development of skilled craft workers is of vital importance to the continued economic growth of our state and nation,” Guerrera noted.  “Our annual Apprenticeship Awareness Breakfast is a way for us to spread the word and educate the public about the job opportunities apprenticeship offers, and the benefits it provides to our state.”

In addition, apprentices and their sponsoring organizations were on hand to answer questions and provide additional information about available programs. Visitors also checked out a special photo exhibit on the upper concourse of the Legislative Office Building that was on display from March 15 to March 26. The posters depict apprentices involved in their individual trades and the many programs that provide participants with opportunities to “earn while they learn” skills that are highly marketable in today’s economy.

According to Guerrera, the state’s apprenticeship system offers career opportunities in more than 400 trades, including carpentry, plumbing and masonry. The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship Training is responsible for registering apprentice programs that meet federal and state standards. "Apprenticeship has been a fixture in our state and on the national employment and training scene for more than 70 years and Connecticut residents can take pride in its success," he said.

In Connecticut, more than 3,000 employers and labor/management committees employ approximately 6,000 apprentices in registered apprenticeship programs.  

Additional information about apprenticeship can be found on the agency’s Web site at

Submitted by John Griffin