Increasing Apprenticeship Opportunities Through State Policy

November 18th, 2021

Preparing to enter the workforce is no easy task, especially as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to transform the world of work. It is critical that apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship programs exist to allow learners of all ages to participate in significant work-based learning opportunities that connect their learning with on-the-job skills that they can leverage as they grow in careers of their choice. Pre-apprenticeship programs, for example, demonstrate significant benefits, including creating more equitable access to high-wage, in-demand careers and improving the success of apprenticeship programs more holistically. In the past year, at least 19 states enacted legislation impacting work-based learning opportunities, including expanding access to apprenticeships, allowing credit to be earned for out-of-school-time learning, and increasing transparency in communication about apprenticeships. The following policies represent a small sample of pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and work-based learning policies already passed in 2021:

  • Arkansas SB491 establishes definitions for pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship to support statewide coordination of these models. The law also requires a member representing the Division of Career and Technical Education to be added to the Arkansas Apprenticeship Coordination Steering Committee.
  • Colorado HB1007 creates a state apprenticeship agency within the Department of Labor and Employment to grow apprenticeship programs in high-demand occupations and oversee the quality of existing apprenticeship programs. A state apprenticeship council is also created to oversee Registered Apprenticeship programs and consists of representation from Career Technical Education (CTE).
  • Indiana HB1549 creates a catalog of work-based learning, pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship opportunities statewide to help provide more information to Indiana residents, among other education-related matters.
  • North Dakota HB1478 enables a school board to allow learners in grades 6-12 to earn course credit through educational opportunities such as work-based learning, pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, internships and industry certifications with a sponsoring entity such as a business, for- or non-profit organization or trade association.
  • Tennessee HB0842 requires each public high school to designate an apprenticeship training program contact. The Department of Education will then compile and publish an aggregate contact list of all program contacts statewide on an annual basis.
  • Texas SB1095 directs school districts to notify each parent of a ninth grader or above about the availability of CTE or other work-based education programs available in the district including internships, externships or apprenticeship programs.

Advance CTE’s 2021 Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) calls for a cohesive, flexible and responsive career preparation ecosystem that allows learners to participate in aligned and connected work-based learning systems, like industry-aligned apprenticeships. Visit our CTE Without Limits landing page for our call to action and the Learning that Works Resource Center for more resources surrounding work-based learning, including pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

Highlighting Equity in State Policy

August 25th, 2021

State leaders, particularly state legislators, have a unique role to play in ensuring equitable access to high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, access and technology gaps have been laid bare, revealing inequities in opportunities for marginalized learner populations. While policies addressing access and equity concerns remained a high priority for legislators in years past, 2021 has been no different; this year to date, almost 30 pieces of state legislation have passed in 17 states addressing this issue. Enacted policies focus on elevating learner voice, examining historically inequitable systems and removing barriers to entry, or providing financial support for historically underrepresented populations. The following policies represent a small sample of equity-focused policies already passed in 2021:

  • Colorado SB119 affirms the value of increasing access to industry-recognized credentials for high school students, especially in the wake of COVID-19. The law also requires districts to communicate specific information about work-based learning opportunities and industry-recognized credentials to students and families, and requires the state Department of Education to submit an annual report and communicate similar data to districts.
  • Louisiana SB148 creates the M.J. Foster Promise Program, which provides financial assistance up to $3200/year to a low-income learner enrolling in a two-year or shorter postsecondary program in a high-demand, high-wage occupational field aligned with Louisiana’s workforce priorities and leading toward an industry-recognized credential. 
  • Oregon SB623 directs the State Workforce and Talent Development Board to establish a Committee for Continuous Improvement to conduct an assessment of the Oregon workforce development system. The assessment must incorporate input from historically marginalized groups and other stakeholders and focus on identifying barriers, improving experiences and access to programs, and improving alignment between agencies and nonprofit organizations to ensure individuals impacted most by COVID-19 are prioritized and served.
  • Virginia HB1820 expands allowable work activities for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to include participation in educational activities that lead to a postsecondary credential from an accredited higher education institution or other postsecondary school. The credential could include a program resulting in a degree or accredited industry-recognized credential, certification or license.
  • Washington SB5194 recognizes the disparate impacts faced by “first-generation college-attending students, students with disabilities, and underrepresented minority students” when applying for or remaining in postsecondary programs, specifically at community and technical colleges. The law announces legislative findings of a need to expand investment in community and technical colleges to guarantee equitable access and requires that all community and technical colleges must submit biennial plans to achieve racial diversity, equity, and inclusion starting July 30, 2022. 

Advance CTE’s 2021 Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education (CTE Without Limits) commits to “All dimensions of equity, including educational, racial, socioeconomic, gender and geographic, and meeting the unique needs of each individual learner,” and promotes many of the same actions connected to these legislative outcomes, including elevating learner voice, supporting equity audits and realigning systems to increase access and funding for marginalized learners. Visit our CTE Without Limits landing page for our call to action and the Learning that Works Resource Center for more access and equity resources.

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

State Policies Impacting CTE: 2020 Year in Review

February 26th, 2021

On the state and federal level, COVID-19 (coronavirus) fundamentally changed the conversation about education, significantly disrupting and refocusing state legislatures. Despite this, Career Technical Education (CTE) adapted to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus, continuing to deliver high-quality programming nationwide across all learner levels despite significant disruptions to education delivery. Because the pandemic was on the forefront of federal, state and local governments’ agendas, fewer policies and budget provisions for CTE were enacted than in previous years; in calendar year 2020, 31 states enacted or passed 67 policy actions related to CTE and career readiness.

Today, Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) released the eighth annual State Policies Impacting CTE: Year in Review report, examining 2020 legislation, executive orders and budget provisions that significantly changed funding. With research support from the Education Commission of the States, Advance CTE and ACTE reviewed state activity, cataloged all finalized state policy actions and coded activity based on the policy areas of focus. In 2020, states most frequently addressed the following topics: 

  • Funding
  • Industry partnerships and work-based learning 
  • Access and equity
  • Dual/concurrent enrollment, articulation and early college 
  • Data, reporting, and/or accountability 

The policy areas that states focused on in 2020 were similar to previous years. In 2019, funding, industry partnerships and work-based learning and access and equity were also in the top five key policy trends; however, in 2020, dual/concurrent enrollment, articulation and early college and data, reporting and/or accountability replaced industry-recognized credentials and governance in the top five key policy trends. Many CTE relevant bills and budgets, including those that increased state funding for CTE, were passed before the pandemic. However, due to unforeseen spending cuts, many state budgets (or supplemental budgets) enacted this year decreased state CTE funding for FY2021. This trend is expected to continue and even worsen as economic challenges continue for many states. 

States have found creative ways to keep support for CTE at the forefront of their legislative agenda. Some states, like Louisiana, have already appropriated state funding for rapid response training to assist employers with training and reskilling that will result in quickly acquired industry-recognized credentials. Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, and Ohio have all also enacted legislation creating programs to bolster work-based learning and workforce development programs strengthening learners, workers, and employers alike. Finally, states like Tennessee have relaxed requirements or sponsored wrap-around supports to strengthen CTE and dual enrollment programs. 

Because of the critical importance CTE plays in workforce and economic development, it is expected that more CTE-related policies will be enacted in the coming years to support up-skilling and reskilling efforts during economic recovery. This indicates a continued commitment from state leaders to advance CTE. To view previous years’ Year in Review reports, click here

Advance CTE and ACTE will be joined by state leaders on March 2 from 3:00-4:00 PM to discuss policy actions for 2020 and potential trends for 2021. Register today

Dan Hinderliter, Policy Associate

States Enact Policies to Support Work-based Learning Opportunities for Students

March 18th, 2020

As the legislative sessions move forward, states have passed laws to examine and increase work-based learning opportunities for learners.

Some states, such as New Jersey, plan to launch pilot programs to expand access to work-based learning opportunities. In New Jersey, the state legislature passed S3065 in January to direct the Commissioner of Education to establish a three-year youth apprenticeship pilot program. The program will allow high school and college students to develop critical employability skills while earning a high school diploma or postsecondary credential. Employers participating in the program must pay the apprentice and offer an industry-recognized credential upon the completion of the program. 

Other states are leveraging graduation requirements to incentivize work-based learning opportunities for students. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam signed HB516 into law in March. The law requires the Virginia Board of Education to include options for students to complete a high-quality work-based learning opportunity or a dual enrollment course in its high school graduation requirements. 

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee signed HB736 into law in March to examine opportunities available to learners. The law requires the Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) to study and report on whether community schools are providing on-the-job training opportunities to learners by working with community partners or businesses. Specifically, the law directs OREA to examine the number of learners participating in on-the-job training opportunities provided by community schools and whether these opportunities have resulted in students obtaining employment after high school.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Governors Celebrate and Commit to Advancing CTE in 2020 State of the State Addresses

February 10th, 2020

Over 35 Governors have delivered their State of the State Addresses, presenting their policy agendas for 2020 to their state legislatures. Many of these governors used this opportunity to highlight successes related to Career Technical Education (CTE) and to make commitments that would help to advance the field.

Many governors leveraged their State of the State Addresses to address CTE funding. In Maine, Governor Janet Mill acknowledged that there has not been significant funding for CTE program equipment since 1998 and asked the Maine Legislature to fund equipment upgrades for CTE programs. In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds celebrated expanding high-school registered apprenticeships and proposed $1 million in funding for work-based learning coordinators. Governor Doug Ducey also called for more CTE related funding in Arizona, proposing funding for CTE trade programs aligned with high-demand careers.

Other governors celebrated their states’ work-based learning efforts. In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis celebrated his administration’s expansion of apprenticeships. Similarly, in Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee recognized the new investments in youth apprenticeships launched by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam noted the role apprenticeship programs play in helping Virginians develop skills needed for careers.

Governors also used the State of the State Addresses to announce and celebrate initiatives. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy proposed Jobs NJ, which aims to align the state’s education system to meet workforce needs and address racial equity gaps in the workforce. In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee celebrated the state’s Career Connect Learning initiative, which was launched in 2017 to connect Washington youth to career-connected learning opportunities aligned with in-demand, high-wage careers.

In total, more than 16 governors celebrated or made commitments to foster CTE in their states during their State of the State Addresses. Advance CTE will continue to monitor the State of the State Addresses as they happen for their relevance to CTE.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

States Support Alternative Methods to Earn College Credit and Degrees

August 8th, 2019

The majority of 2019 legislative sessions have come to a close. During these legislative sessions, states enacted legislation to support alternative methods to obtain college credit and degrees.

Awarding College Credit Through Apprenticeships

Some states are exploring how to leverage apprenticeships to award college credit to learners. For instance, the Colorado legislature passed HB19-1294 in May to require the chief administrative officer of the Colorado Community College System to convene a working group to determine the best way to transfer construction industry registered apprenticeship program credit to college credit. If possible, the working group must have representatives from community colleges, area technical schools, local district colleges, relevant four-year institutions and applicable labor organizations. The working group must consider the possibility of apprenticeship program coursework culminating in significant progress towards a degree, among other considerations.

In June, the Connecticut legislature passed SB607, which requires the Labor Department and the Board of Regents for Higher Education to jointly establish nontraditional pathways to earning a bachelor’s degree through the inclusion of credits earned through apprenticeships.

Expanding Access to Credit for Prior Learning Opportunities

The Utah legislature passed HB45 in April. HB45 directs the State Board of Regents to establish policies that award learners credit for prior learning. The established policies must provide standards for accepted forms of prior learning assessments and the transferability of prior learning assessment credits between institutions, among other standards. To learn more about promising practices to advance credit for prior learning opportunities for each learner, read Advance CTE’s Developing Credit for Prior Learning Policies to Support Postsecondary Attainment for Every Learner report.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Tennessee, New Jersey Focus on Expanding Access to CTE Opportunities; Montana Expands Funding to CTSOs

May 20th, 2019

As the legislative session moves forward, states have passed laws to increase awareness of and expand access to Career Technical Education (CTE) opportunities for each learner.

With the reauthorization of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which allows states to use Perkins funding as early as the fifth grade, many states are expanding CTE opportunities to the middle grades, including Tennessee. On May 5, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed SB0063 into law to expand CTE programs in the state to middle grades. Under the law, CTE programs must be accessible to all middle school learners in grades six through eight and serve at least 50 percent of this population. Additionally, the law requires the Board of Career and Technical Education to plan facilities for CTE training for middle school learners.

In New Jersey the legislature passed S372, which was signed into law on May 10, to help expand access to apprenticeships for learners in the state. The law requires the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commision of Labor and Workforce Development, to develop publicly available guidelines for high school counselors to use to coordinate services with the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council with the intent of encouraging student participation in and awareness of apprenticeship opportunities.

Meanwhile, in Montana, on May 8 Governor Steve Bullock signed HB0662 into law. The law permits the Superintendent of Public Instruction to distribute secondary CTE funds to Career Technical Education Student Organizations (CTSOs) for grants.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Virgina, New Mexico Take Steps to Expand CTE Opportunities for Learners; Colorado Expands CTE Funding Options

March 25th, 2019

In Virginia and New Mexico, the state legislatures have taken action to expand opportunities for CTE learners. In Virginia, on March 5, SB1434 was signed into law. The law directs the Virginia Board of Education to revise its Career and Technical Education Work-based Learning Guide to expand opportunities for learners to earn credit for graduation through high-quality work-based learning experiences. The law directs the Board of Education to consult business and diverse stakeholders to inform its revision of the guide.

In New Mexico, on March 9, HB91 was signed into law. The law establishes a seven-year pilot project to fund CTE programs and monitor their effects on student outcomes, including graduation rates and achievement scores, among other outcomes. The law allows the New Mexico Department of Education to provide grants to school districts to establish CTE programs as part of the pilot project and professional development to CTE teachers in the pilot project. The law outlines the requirements CTE programs funded through the pilot must meet, such as that the programs must lead to an industry-recognized credential at the postsecondary level and require training in soft and social skills.

The Colorado legislature passed a bill that opens a previously restricted funding stream to CTE. On March 7, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed HB1008 into law, which amends the “Building Excellent Schools Today Act” to allow the public school capital construction board to provide grants to support CTE capital construction, which includes construction of public school facilities and equipment for CTE programs.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Governors Celebrate CTE in 2019 State of the State Addresses

March 4th, 2019

Numerous governors have celebrated or prioritized Career Technical Education (CTE) during their annual State of the State Addresses to their state legislatures this year. When outlining their policy agendas for 2019, many governors highlighted successes related to CTE and committed to fostering CTE in their respective states.

Governors prioritized expanding access to CTE for learners. In New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu announced an $8.6 million allocation to remove barriers, such as tuition and transportation, to CTE participation. In Idaho, Governor Brad Little mentioned that he will focus on expanding CTE opportunities for learners. Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Barker celebrated adding 4,000 seats to the state’s vocational and technical schools. In Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo noted that the state increased the number of CTE programs offered in high schools by 60 percent. Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island have prioritized increasing high-quality career pathways under the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) initiative.

During the addresses, Governors also emphasized CTE funding in their states. In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan celebrated voters’ approval of the “casino lockbox initiative,” which will provide $4.4 million in additional funding for innovative CTE programming and other educational initiatives. In North Dakota, Governor Doug Burgum dedicated $40 million in Legacy Fund earnings for career academies.

Numerous governors also celebrated work-based learning, particularly the expansion of apprenticeships. In Montana, Governor Steve Bullock highlighted that seven out of 10 two-year colleges in the state offer apprenticeship coursework. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy celebrated the creation of more than 100 new apprenticeship programs that hired more than 2,000 new apprentices. In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf noted that the state increased the number of apprenticeship programs to roughly 800.

In total, more than 20 governors have celebrated or prioritized advancing CTE in their states during their State of the State Addresses. This is Advance CTE’s second blog post on the State of the State Addresses- to view the first blog post click here. Advance CTE will continue to monitor the State of the State Addresses for their relevance to CTE.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

Numerous Governors Celebrate and Commit to Advancing CTE in 2019

February 4th, 2019

As is tradition at the beginning of the legislative sessions, numerous governors have presented their policy agendas in their annual addresses to their state legislatures. These addresses provide an opportunity for the 20 new governors to highlight their legislative priorities. Many of the State of the State Addresses highlighted successes related to Career Technical Education (CTE) and governors’ commitments to advance CTE in 2019.

Many governors celebrated successes of previous and existing initiatives in their speeches. In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey celebrated the 99 percent high school graduation rate for students in Arizona CTE programs. In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont proposed increasing access to vocational technical schools and apprenticeships and celebrated the successes of students at a new Career Academy in Waterbury, CT. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy celebrated the creation of more than 100 new apprenticeship programs in the past year.

Governors also emphasized the importance of advancing equity in their states. In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds proposed creating a new program called “Computer Science in Elementary,” which will integrate computer coding into class lessons at six high-poverty elementary schools. In Delaware, Governor John Carney proposed a statewide commission comprised of community leaders who will recommend steps to help disadvantaged students succeed.

Other governors set goals for the year and called for additional funding for CTE. In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb set a goal for 60 percent of Hoosier adults to have a high-value credential beyond high school. In Nebraska, Governor Pete Ricketts celebrated that the Developing Youth Talent Initiative, which connects middle school students to work-based learning opportunities in the manufacturing and IT sectors, has impacted 7,000 students to date and called on the state to increase funding for the initiative by $1.25 million. In Washington, Governor Jay Inslee proposed a budget that would allow 100,000 students to participate in paid internships and apprenticeships over the next 10 years.

In total, more than 12 governors have celebrated or made commitments to foster CTE in their states during their State of the State Addresses. Advance CTE will continue to monitor the State of the State Addresses as they happen for their relevance to CTE.

To learn about CTE related policies that governors prioritized in 2018, join Advance CTE, ACTE and a state leader to discuss 2018 CTE related policies in more depth on February 14 – to register for the webinar click here.

Brianna McCain, Policy Associate

 

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