JFF Awarded $5 Million in U.S. Department of Labor Funding to Scale Registered Apprenticeships for School-Age Youth

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 9:09 AM EDT

With funding from the Apprenticeships Building America program, JFF will expand access to Registered Apprenticeships for 1,000 young adults in regional hubs

BOSTON, Aug. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit driving transformation in the American workforce and education systems, today announced that its Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning has been awarded $5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to help more than 1,000 school-age young people access pathways to high-quality apprenticeships. Through an ambitious four-year initiative, JFF will partner with organizations across regional hubs to expand access to high-quality Registered Apprenticeship programs (RAP) for in-school and out-of-school young people from many different backgrounds.

JFF (PRNewsfoto/JFF)
JFF (PRNewsfoto/JFF)(PRNewswire)

"In an uncertain economic climate, Registered Apprenticeship programs can meet pressing needs from employers while also giving young people the start they need to enter the workforce," said Maria Flynn, CEO of Jobs for the Future. "It's truly a win-win situation— Registered Apprenticeship programs deliver on their promise of economic advancement for workers while also creating a job-ready talent pool that has cultivated the skills for success. With greater ability to scale access and reach previously untapped pockets of talent, the outlook for apprenticeships is brighter than ever."

Research has long shown that Registered Apprenticeship is an effective approach to building a skilled labor force and creating pathways to long-term employment, particularly for the more than 4.69 million people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are either out of school or unemployed. Over the next four years, the new initiative led by JFF — named Next Generation Apprenticeship for Next Generation Talent — will build and scale more equitable models of Registered Apprenticeship by designing youth-centered approaches, including the creation of a pre-apprenticeship on-ramp for young adults who need support and training before beginning an apprenticeship.

To help expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for school-age young people, the U.S. Department of Labor announced over $121 million in new funding earlier this year through the Apprenticeships Building America program, with $58 million dedicated to establishing equity partnerships and pre-apprenticeship activities. The program supports state apprenticeship system building and modernization, expansion of Registered Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities for young people, increasing equitable access through pre-apprenticeship, and the creation of Registered Apprenticeship hubs.

"In today's rapidly changing world of work, high-quality Registered Apprenticeship represents a pathway to economic security—and careers in fast-growing industries—for youth and young adults from a variety of backgrounds," said Myriam Sullivan, director at JFF's Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning. "This work is about making industry-supported Registered Apprenticeships more inclusive and accessible to school-age young people—and removing barriers to entry for those who would benefit the most, but for whom apprenticeship has largely been inaccessible."

This project is designed to reach young people ages 16-24 that are both in-school and out-of-school, with the ultimate goal of making these opportunities more accessible for diverse groups and connecting them with high-quality jobs paying more than $15 per hour. Industries of particular promise for this project include tech, infrastructure, health care, and advanced manufacturing.

Over four years, JFF will be working with five lead partners across the U.S.:

  • Bitwise Industries, a purpose-driven organization that operates in New York, Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and California, working to create a more inclusive tech talent pipeline through coding programs for communities that have been underserved by public and private institutions
  • Educate Maine, a business-led education advocacy organization supporting Maine's students by championing career readiness
  • Goodwill of North Georgia, a 501(c)3 providing job training and employment services to people experiencing career transitions in suburban Atlanta
  • JEVS Human Services, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit working to cultivate the talents of people with disabilities and helping them to enter the workforce
  • Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board, a private nonprofit organization in Virginia providing funds for employment training and placement services

JFF will work with each of the lead partners to develop tools and resources that respond to the needs of the local community, support the development and expansion of regional partnerships, grow employer participation, and explore opportunities to build Registered Apprenticeship programs for young people in emerging industries. As the project progresses, JFF will document the strategies and approaches used and share them with the broader field.

For more information about JFF's work to support the development and expansion of Registered Apprenticeships, visit the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning.

ABOUT JOBS FOR THE FUTURE: Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the American workforce and education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all. Visit www.jff.org.

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