Massachusetts Expands Apprenticeship Opportunities

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Photo courtesy of Greater Boston JACT

Last week the Baker-Polito Administration’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced $200,000 in grant funding to expand and diversify apprenticeship opportunities and strengthen existing programs in Massachusetts.

The funds came from the ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grant, issued by the United States Department of Labor (DOL).

Governor Charlie Baker said the funding allows Massachusetts “to prepare a pipeline of skilled workers for future employment. Ensuring that our strong and skilled workforce continues to develop and succeed results in a prospering economic environment across the Commonwealth.”

The grant enables the Massachusetts Apprenticeship Initiative to expand opportunities to other areas of the state, new industries, occupations and additional employers. The Initiative is a collaboration of 50 businesses, the state Department of Career Services, Division of Apprentice Standards, the Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office, the Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative, and six local workforce development boards.

Under DOL requirements, all registered apprenticeship programs must include five components – on-the-job training, direct business involvement, related instruction, rewards for skill gains, and a national occupational credential.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “As our state’s economy continues to grow, apprenticeships will play an increasingly important role in training individuals for job openings now and into the future, and supporting job growth and economic development across Massachusetts.”

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, through the Department of Career Services and Division of Apprentice Standards, will build upon partnerships in an effort to expand the number of employers with apprenticeship programs.

Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said. The funding allows the Commonwealth to “create more strategic partnerships in industries that already employ apprentices, while also reaching out to nontraditional industries for apprenticeship opportunities such as IT, healthcare, cyber-security, advanced manufacturing and others.”

According to the US Department of Labor, “Apprenticeships are a proven path to high quality, secure middle-class jobs. In fact, 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average starting wage above $50,000 per year.”