Presents results from a national survey on the current strategies and existing needs of workforce boards working to expand apprenticeship programs, and recommends eight investments to help workforce boards support and advance apprenticeship activities in their local region.

“Apprenticeship is [a] model of workforce training that allows employees to earn while they learn. These programs generally last from one to six years and include a combination of on-the-job training and formal classroom instruction. Registered apprentices earn progressively increasing wages and an industry-recognized credential” (p.2).

“[W]orkforce boards and the apprenticeship system have traditionally operated on parallel tracks. New efforts in each system are now working to change that. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and apprenticeship guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor are encouraging integration of these efforts by positioning workforce boards to engage in apprenticeship” (p.1).

“[The authors] disseminated a survey in the summer of 2017 to better understand how workforce boards are engaging in apprenticeship and what challenges they face as they try to expand apprenticeship in their regions. The 145 local and single-state workforce development boards that responded represent 26 percent of those surveyed and 24 percent of all state and local boards in the country….[T]he respondents provide insight into the nature of apprenticeship activities and interest among workforce boards across the country.

This briefing details the key lessons learned from the workforce board respondents” (p.1-2).

“The apprenticeship experiences and challenges of boards throughout this brief provide insight into the ways in which workforce boards can be empowered to strengthen and grow the apprenticeship system” (p.14).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“The key areas of both activity and concern among the workforce boards are employer engagement, recruitment of apprentices, administration and implementation processes, and funding. Rural boards and those without current apprenticeship activity could also benefit from targeted support. With additional resources and technical assistance in these areas, apprenticeship is poised for growth among workforce boards” (p.2). “The challenges faced by boards, and particularly their perceptions about the hesitations among employers, point to a need for better information, assistance, and successful examples and best practices from leading boards” (p.14). “Written materials are important but are not enough to translate into action. Boards want more hands-on assistance as well….[The authors] recommend that…state apprenticeship agencies, and other stakeholders invested in the expansion of the apprenticeship system make the following investments to better engage workforce boards: • Provide a centralized hub that is trusted by workforce boards to disseminate existing publications and tools, with a focus on the topics requested by workforce boards and included throughout this brief • Develop step-by-step resources targeted exclusively to workforce boards, so that available materials better integrate the perspective and needs of workforce boards • Identify and create case studies of workforce boards that have developed successful apprenticeship programs for partnerships • Convene regional in-person apprenticeship accelerator events that address both national and state-specific apprenticeship challenges and opportunities • Establish an ongoing peer learning group for workforce boards interested in expanding apprenticeship that includes customized and shared technical assistance support • Offer ongoing convenings and webinars to teach the mechanics of developing apprenticeship programs to local boards • Support the implementation of outreach and recruitment strategies to attract high-quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship candidates through the American Job Centers • Pilot apprenticeship programs with workforce boards as intermediaries or sponsors, focusing on strategies with high potential for impact, such as in rural areas or in nontraditional occupations” (p.14). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)