Posts Tagged ‘apprenticeshipUSA’

Reflections on President Trump’s Workforce of Tomorrow Event at the White House

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

This post was written by John Cech, Ph.D., Deputy Commissioner – Academic & Student Affairs, Montana University System.  

On Thursday, June 15, 2017, I joined President Donald Trump and 20 people at the White House for a “Workforce of Tomorrow” meeting to discuss strategies for preparing more Americans to fill nearly six million vacant or soon-to-be-vacant careers.  The White House singled out 10 states as “exemplars,” which are creating new educational and apprenticeship opportunities for our citizens.  I am proud to say Montana was one of the 11 states to receive an invitation from the White House and I was honored to represent Governor Bullock and our great state at this meeting.

The meeting was facilitated by Ivanka Trump, Adviser to the President and included: Secretary Alex Acosta, Department of Labor; Secretary Wilbur Ross, Department of Commerce; several key White House staff; seven Governors; and representatives of three additional governors.  The President invited the Governors and participants to share some of the best practices and success stories from their states.

In a ceremony in the Roosevelt Room, President Trump signed an executive order nearly doubling taxpayer money spent on learn-and-earn programs under the grant system, ApprenticeshipUSA. The money, totaling $200 million, would come from existing job training programs.

Why is this work important?  States across the nation are facing serious workforce challenges.  In Montana, for example, our population is aging and estimates are that a quarter of the workforce are going to retire in the next ten years.  This, coupled with our strong economy and low unemployment (3.8%), poses significant complications for industries to find the skilled labor needed for 21st century jobs.

I believe our state was chosen to be recognized as a leader in this effort due to our long-standing culture of collaboration and creativity.  Thanks to the support and leadership of Governor Bullock, Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian and Commissioner of Labor Pam Bucy, we are a leading state in the development of new apprenticeship learning opportunities.  The Montana University System and the Montana Department of Labor and Industry have worked together to develop 20 new apprenticeship programs in fields such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, information technology, accounting technology, and culinary services, with another 20 in development. These programs offer courses that result in college credits, work-based learning opportunities, prior learning assessment, industry recognized credentials, and a salary. In other words, students can ‘earn while they learn.’

This work has particularly impacted Montana’s rural and frontier communities with apprenticeship opportunities for fields in in-demand, living-wage industries, in some of Montana’s most remote areas, through innovative and thoughtful programming.

For example, MSU-Billings City College has partnered with a rural fire department employer in Miles City to develop the very first paramedicine apprenticeship program in MT. Cutting edge technology is used to ensure all learners have access to this program. IPad Robots (i.e. MedBots) enable EMT professionals at the rural fire department to complete MSUB City College paramedic coursework, as well participate in labs through real-time class discussions, small group breakouts and medical simulations with fellow students in the Billings-based classroom.

Montana is also working with our Office of Public Instruction to develop new statewide pathways for high school students interested starting early with their career development.  These new pathways include opportunities for dual credit, work-based learning, and pre-apprenticeships.

Our efforts are informed through concrete data including employment projections and wage and income records to ensure that we’re supplying the talent pipeline to high-demand careers with skilled employees from across the state.

While federal funding is a critical catalyst for identifying and developing work-based learning strategies, Montana is a fantastic example of how states can leverage these funds with state and private resources to create a new paradigm for workforce training.

I believe our successful partnerships and statewide collaborative efforts are what captured the attention of the White House this past week, and I was honored to share our many accomplishments.

By Katie Fitzgerald in Uncategorized
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CTE Research Review: How Did England Triple Its Apprenticeships?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Apprenticeship_Header_2It’s National Apprenticeship Week! The Obama Administration has been raising the profile of (and funding for) apprenticeships through several initiatives. The most recent effort comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, which unveiled its ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit last week.

The toolkit includes resources to learn about apprenticeships and their benefits, tools to build strong partnerships and apprenticeship strategies, and ways to help implement a fully integrated program into a state or local workforce system. It also features case studies and videos from Iowa, Michigan and Vermont. You can also check out last week’s webinar for a helpful overview of toolkit.

How Did England Generate Two Million Apprenticeships?

The Urban Institute, a Washington-based think tank, hosted the first Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum to learn more about how England tripled its apprenticeship offerings. The Exchange featured nearly 20 U.S., British and Australian experts and apprenticeship leaders that explored methods for scaling successful and innovative programs including how to recruit employers and support apprentices.

Be sure to check out the full slate of presentations and a video of the event to learn more about the British and Australian approaches to expanding apprenticeships. For the U.S. perspective, here’s a refresher on a 2014 thought piece from the leading U.S. expert on apprenticeships, Robert Lerman.

Andrea Zimmermann, State Policy Associate

By Andrea Zimmermann in Research
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