Apprenticeships are some of the oldest job training programs. They have been used throughout the centuries to educate new job-seekers on the skills of a trade. These one to six-year programs provide apprentices with work-based training, classroom instruction, and mentorship at competitive wages with a career path that includes paid on-the-job training, skill development, and mentorship (“Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion,” 2018). Traditionally, many apprenticeships focused on the trades of construction and manufacturing; however, now apprenticeships have spread into the fields of healthcare, information technology, transportation, and energy production (“Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion,” 2018).
President Trump signed the Expanding Apprenticeships in America Executive Order on June 15, 2017, expanding apprenticeships throughout the country (“Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion,” 2018). In 2018, there were over 585,000 apprentices and over 23,400 registered apprenticeship programs nationwide (“Registered Apprenticeship National Results Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (10/01/2016 to 9/30/2017),” 2018).
Apprenticeships can be a fantastic alternative to college or to pursuing employment directly after high school for people with disabilities. For these individuals, post-secondary education may not be a good option, but without additional education and training, their ability to obtain a successful career is also limited. Apprenticeships allow them to pursue specialized training with a designated path to a good job (“Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Improving The Pipeline For People With Disabilities,” 2015; “Improving Transition Outcomes of Youth with Disabilities by Increasing Access to Apprenticeship Opportunities,” 2008).
The resources below provide information about available programs, establishing new apprenticeships, benefits for apprentices, and ways to find programs in your area.
State Apprenticeship Agencies
The US Department of Labor provides an interactive map highlighting State Apprenticeship Agencies in each of the 50 states, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. (Note: Not all states have a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA). Many offer data and information on their state website.)
Find the Apprenticeship That’s Right for You
ApprenticeshipUSA was created to support a variety of apprenticeship programs through helping individual programs expand and build partnerships. Resources includes current nationwide apprenticeships with search option by position and location match.
15 Fast Facts about the Swiss Apprenticeship Program
Learn more about the apprenticeship program sponsored by the Swiss government and in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Commerce. This memorandum of understanding will build upon ongoing collaboration between the United States and Switzerland to encourage businesses and stakeholders to promote the value of apprenticeship programs and develop effective strategies to increase awareness of and access to work-based learning.
Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative
The Right Turn initiative, a program led by Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), was created to address systemic barriers that prevent young adults who have past involvement with the justice system from pursuing employment. The Right Turn program has been expanded to include apprenticeship opportunities for young people across the country.
Youth Apprenticeship: A Hopeful Approach for Improving Outcomes for Baltimore Youth
This scholarly paper documents the success that apprenticeships have had on improving school and career outcomes for at-risk youth in Baltimore and lays the support for establishing an apprenticeship program in the Baltimore area.
CareerOneStop’s Video Collection
CareerOneStop’s video collection provides information on a variety of careers, industries, skills, abilities, work options, and education levels. Ongoing updates are added to accommodate new and changing trends.
Planning for Youth Apprenticeship: A CALENDAR for Participants Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship
This calendar outlines a system to implement career development and work-based learning opportunities with information for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, school districts, and families.
Apprenticeship Program Development
This website provides employers with models of apprenticeships, the benefits of developing apprenticeships, and information on posting apprenticeship opportunities online. Employers can also connect with job-seekers who are interested in growing their skill-set through apprenticing.
#ApprenticeshipWorks for Tech: 6 Reasons to Engage in an Apprenticeship Program
This article explores the important role of apprenticeships and how these programs can alert employers in finding new talent pools.
Action Planning Guide: Ten Steps to Success — GUIDE
This guide outlines a 10-step process to create a youth apprenticeship program.
Action Planning Guide: Ten Steps to Success — TOOLKIT
Based on the After School Apprenticeship Program (ASAP), which connects students to career experts and builds job skills for college and careers, this toolkit provides information on creating apprenticeship programs.
Inclusive Apprenticeships Information
Need Tech Talent? Think Apprenticeships
Learn more about the efforts to expand apprenticeship programs, with a focus on connecting technology industries and inclusive apprenticeships for individuals with disabilities.
Apprenticeship Works Video Series
The #ApprenticeshipWorks video series showcases people with and without disabilities in a variety of apprenticeship opportunities and demonstrates how apprenticeship works for both job seekers and businesses.
Apprenticeship Works for Inclusion: A Guide to Helping People with Disabilities Explore Inclusive Career Paths
This Guide introduces educators/service providers to the benefits and opportunities of inclusive apprenticeships, with a focus on students with disabilities.
Apprenticeship Works for Business: A Guide to Building Inclusive Workplaces
This guide introduces employers to the benefits and opportunities of inclusive apprenticeships, with a focus on people with disabilities.
Apprenticeship Works for You: A Guide for Individuals Exploring Inclusive Career Paths
This Guide introduce young people with disabilities to the benefits and opportunities of inclusive apprenticeships.
Apprenticeship Toolkit: Youth with Disabilities Entering the Workplace through Apprenticeship
This toolkit provides extensive information and resources for young adults and service providers on areas around registered apprenticeship and how it can be used to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
“Improving Transition Outcomes of Youth with Disabilities by Increasing Access to Apprenticeship Opportunities. (December 2008). http://www.ncwd-youth.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ApprenticeshipIssuePaper.pdf. This article discusses trends in apprenticeships and opportunities for youth with disabilities. “Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America. (June 15, 2017). https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/3245. This Executive Order from Pres. Trump establishing the importance and focus on developing apprenticeships. “Registered Apprenticeship National Results Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (Sept 30, 2018). https://www.doleta.gov/OA/data_statistics.cfm. This webpage provides data and statistics on apprenticeships in the United States. “Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Improving The Pipeline For People With Disabilities. (July 31, 2015). https://www.dol.gov/odep/pdf/apprenticeshipreport.pdf. This report discusses Registered Apprenticeship (RA) as careers planning strategies, demonstrate the need for additional career and technical education, and identified job growth industries with RA programs, and addresses the impact on employment of people with disabilities. “Task Force On Apprenticeship Expansion. (May 10, 2018). https://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/docs/task-force-apprenticeship-expansion-report.pdf. This report, mandated by the executive order on apprenticeships, explorers new strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships. “WorkforceGPS: Disability and Employment.” (N.D.). https://disability.workforcegps.org/. The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) aims to improve education, training and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits.