Across the country there is renewed interest in growing apprenticeship programs for youth and adult learners. By integrating classroom instruction and hands-on learning, apprenticeships can serve as a meaningful part of a Career Technical Education (CTE) program of study, enhance the educational experience and better prepare learners for future career success. In June 2017, Advance CTE, in partnership with JFF, Vivayic and RTI International was contracted by the U.S. Department of Education to explore ways in which secondary CTE students could be better connected to apprenticeship programs. As a result, Advance CTE published a report that profiled eight secondary apprenticeship programs to identify strategies to connect CTE with apprenticeship programs. The report highlights major takeaways as well as recommendations for program design, effectiveness, student-parent engagement and communications, financing, equity and access.
Last month, we expanded our commitment to youth apprenticeship programs by joining the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship Initiative (PAYA), along with CareerWise Colorado, Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships, Education Strategy Group, JFF, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the National Governors Association and New America. Over the next four years, PAYA will support efforts in states and cities to expand access to high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for high school age youth. PAYA will convene experts and partners, support a community of practitioners, publish research and provide grants and direct assistance to promising youth apprenticeship programs in cities and states across the U.S. We join our PAYA partners in thanking the funders of this initiative – Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ballmer Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Joyce Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and the Siemens Foundation.
Earlier this week the Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative released their Definitions and Principles for Expanding Quality Apprenticeships in the U.S. that Advance CTE signed on to and supports. These guiding principles for quality apprenticeships include:
- Strong business demand for apprentices;
- Advancement of the livelihood of U.S. workers;
- Partnerships between local businesses, the workforce and education systems, human services organizations, labor and labor-management partnerships and other community-based organizations;
- Accessibility for new and incumbent workers that supports the success of a diverse pipeline of apprentices;
- Alignment with K-12 and postsecondary educational opportunities to support lifelong learning and skill attainment;
- Robust data systems to continuously improve outcomes for business and workers; and
- Building on innovative state and local practice.
At a roundtable discussion hosted by the Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative, Advance CTE’s Deputy Executive Director Kate Blosveren Kreamer emphasized that our economy supports the continued skill attainment that apprenticeships provide.
We are excited to continue learning about – and advocating for -impactful apprenticeship opportunities!
Meredith Hills, Policy Associate