WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor awarded more than $130 million in grants to develop, modernize and diversify Registered Apprenticeship Programs in 15 states and to establish Registered Apprenticeship Technical Assistance Centers of Excellence in three states and Washington, D.C., to provide technical expertise and services and accelerate the expansion of Registered Apprenticeship programs.
The department’s Employment and Training Administration awarded more than $99 million in State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation grants – ranging from $2 million to $10 million — to bolster states’ efforts to expand programming and inclusive recruitment strategies to attract a diverse workforce. The awards include more than $85 million for states that demonstrated a commitment to increase their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
These grants also aim to develop partnerships with new industries and non-traditional occupations, including industry sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, and align Registered Apprenticeships with other work-based learning opportunities within state education and workforce systems.
States that received the grants include: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Texas.
“Today’s announcement reflects the Department of Labor’s renewed commitment to expanding Registered Apprenticeship to train U.S. workers and ensure that diversity and inclusion are core elements of our nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Using Registered Apprenticeships to expand career opportunities for all workers, especially those in under-represented populations, is a priority for the department and a critical component of the Biden-Harris administration’s American Jobs Plan.”
To facilitate expansion of Registered Apprenticeship programs, the department also awarded nearly $31 million through cooperative agreements to establish four Registered Apprenticeship Technical Assistance Centers of Excellence to provide technical assistance to apprenticeship programs and their enrolled trainees.
Located in key areas, the RA-TA Centers of Excellence will seek to create successful and inclusive talent pipelines that meet the needs of today’s industries, workers and communities. Centers of Excellence will provide technical assistance to employers and industry to build out model-registered apprenticeship programs across a range of industries and jobs, including those in America’s critical supply chains. The centers will also work across public and private sector partners to expand opportunities in Registered Apprenticeship for women, youth, people of color, rural communities, justice-involved individuals and people with disabilities.