Posts Tagged ‘youth apprenticeship’

In Delaware, Building a Youth Apprenticeship Data System Means Looking to the Future

Wednesday, March 16th, 2022

This is the third blog in a series published in partnership with New America through the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA). The blog series highlights how PAYA network sites are using data to improve youth apprenticeship quality and equity. 

In Delaware, youth apprenticeship is a critical pillar of the state’s career readiness initiatives and is a truly collaborative project. While administration of the state’s youth apprenticeship programs falls under the Delaware Department of Labor, related technical instruction is handled by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE). This requires a significant amount of coordination and partnership across state agencies. 

In 2020, Delaware received a grant through the U.S Department of Labor to enroll 400 youth apprentices in the areas of construction, hospitality and Information Technology. This opportunity, and the expansion of youth apprenticeship in the state, enabled Delaware to focus on improving the quality and use of its youth apprenticeship data. 

Tackling Youth Apprenticeship Data Challenges 

As Delaware works to strengthen and scale youth apprenticeship, the state encountered a few challenges with accessing quality data. For one, state leaders confronted some inflexibilities with the federal Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System (RAPIDS), which includes nationwide data on Registered Apprenticeship participation but does not differentiate youth and adult apprenticeships. 

Another challenge was coordinating and systematizing partnerships among agencies and organizations. Delaware first had to create and adopt shared definitions for youth apprenticeship data and then work to break down silos to enable timely inter-agency data sharing. 

And finally, state leaders wanted to make sure youth apprenticeship data could fuel program improvement, equity initiatives and storytelling, and made sure to shift from a compliance to a continuous improvement mindset. 

To tackle these challenges, DDOE assumed a coordinating role, leveraging its scale as a statewide agency to convene partners, reach consensus on important decisions, and establish data sharing agreements. In this role, DDOE was able to compile and match data, including education records, employment records and social services records, “behind the curtain” before pushing de-identified data back out to partners. 

Equipped with relevant and timely data, DDOE is now positioned to support local youth apprenticeship programs to make data-informed decisions. For example, DDOE can identify learners who would be a good fit for youth apprenticeship and provide that information to school counselors ahead of youth apprenticeship recruitment cycles. 

This data also enables DDOE to craft a story about youth apprenticeship, targeting policymakers and members of the public with stories about the impact of high-quality programs.

Lessons Learned

One important lesson from Delaware is the critical need for qualitative data from learners. Partners are developing a new case management system to ensure qualitative data is collected, considered, and utilized as part of a continuous program improvement process.  To fully understand the story behind the numbers, data must be connected to the learners’ voices and experiences. 

Delaware also learned that the goal of youth apprenticeship data systems should not be sustainability alone but rather evolution. Data systems should be flexible, always moving towards the next set of questions the state is looking to explore and answer. If states and youth apprenticeship intermediaries can anticipate the questions they will want to answer in the future, they can begin to build data systems that address those needs. 

Delaware’s advice to state and local youth apprenticeship intermediaries is to concentrate first on the initial strategy, coordination of effort, systems building and partner relationships. This will ensure there are suitable conditions for collecting and using youth apprenticeship data effectively. Partners should also establish a shared system of values that emphasize partner action and innovation and are reinforced by established data routines. 

Additional blog posts in this series can be accessed here. For additional resources on data and accountability, please visit Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center.

Kate Kreamer, Deputy Executive Director 

By Brittany Cannady in Uncategorized
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Challenges & Opportunities to Improving Youth Apprenticeship Data Quality: Reflections from the PAYA Data Work Group

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

Apprenticeship in the United States is an under-utilized but promising education and employment strategy — particularly for youth whose connections to college and paid work are even more tenuous due to the COVID-19 economic crisis. In 2018, New America launched the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), a national network of partners (including Advance CTE), states, local intermediaries and philanthropies to define and scale up high-quality youth apprenticeships nationwide. In just a couple short years, the network has made incredible progress, sowing the seeds for future programs.

But through all of this work, data quality has emerged as a persistent challenge for states as well as local intermediaries. Improving the quality and availability of youth apprenticeship data can help PAYA network partners evaluate program quality, address gaps in equitable access and outcomes, and make the case for further investment in youth apprenticeship. But building the infrastructure to collect, validate, warehouse and analyze youth apprenticeship data can be costly and time intensive. 

To dig deeper into this challenge, Advance CTE and New America organized a practitioner workgroup on youth apprenticeship data quality in early 2020. The workgroup met several times throughout 2020 to discuss the following questions: 

The workgroup’s conclusions are summarized in a new report, Improving Youth Apprenticeship Data Quality: Challenges and Opportunities. The report addresses five challenges with improving youth apprenticeship data quality and several promising strategies to mitigate data roadblocks: 

  1. Determining what to measure: Some states have taken the guesswork out of data collection by establishing statewide business rules for collecting youth apprenticeship information. But in others, local intermediaries are left to their own devices, leading to inconsistencies in how youth apprenticeship data is collected. State and local leaders should work to develop and adopt consistent definitions and business rules for collecting for youth apprenticeship data. 
  2. Clarifying roles and responsibilities: Another challenge is clarifying who is collecting what data in the first place. Because youth apprenticeship involves partnerships across the K-12, postsecondary and workforce systems — with state agencies, intermediary organizations and employers in the mix — clarifying roles and responsibilities for collecting and sharing data early on is important. Local intermediaries can coordinate this process, ensuring all partners are aware of their responsibilities. 
  3. Building the infrastructure: Collecting and warehousing data can require costly technology. Building out an entire data system before launching a new youth apprenticeship program might not be feasible, but state and local leaders should establish systems and processes at the beginning that can be scaled easily. They can also leverage existing systems — such as student information systems housed at the school district or college — or develop new tools to minimize the data collection burden on educators and employers. 
  4. Accessing data: Privacy rules, data transfer limitations and incompatible data systems can, at times, limit access to data for youth apprenticeship participants. To ensure that all relevant partners can access the data they need, intermediary organizations should establish data sharing agreements that specify what information will be shared and in what format as well as the process and frequency for sharing this information. States can facilitate this process by developing local data sharing templates and demystifying rules and regulations for data sharing. 
  5. Scaling and sustaining: Finally, the workgroup elevated challenges with bringing data collection processes to scale as youth apprenticeship programs expand statewide. State leaders play an important role in supporting the sustainability and scale of youth apprenticeship programs by streamlining data collection processes, integrating youth apprenticeship data into existing state databases, providing sustainable funding, and offering professional development opportunities to build the capacity of frontline actors. 

 

Data is rarely among the first priorities in setting up a new youth apprenticeship program, but it should be. With reliable and valid youth apprenticeship data, states and local intermediaries can help scale quality programs that expand college and career options for high school students and meet the training needs of employers and industry.. The report Improving Youth Apprenticeship Data Quality: Challenges and Opportunities outlines the most common barriers to improving youth apprenticeship data quality and provides actionable recommendations for states and local intermediaries to strengthen the reliability, validity and use of their data. 

Austin Estes, Manager of Data & Research, Advance CTE

By admin in Publications, Resources
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New Report on The Role of Data and Accountability in Growing Youth Apprenticeship Programs

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

Youth apprenticeship programs can give students access to valuable work-based learning experiences that provide insights into how their interest can connect to education and the workforce. Although these programs are often beneficial for participants, there is little data to show the programmatic landscape and impact. A lack of data inhibits the development and expansion of youth apprenticeship programs. 

Advance CTE’s latest report, The Role of Data and Accountability in Growing Youth Apprenticeship Programs, explores how states are collecting data on youth apprenticeship programs, and what steps can be taken to collect high-quality enrollment and outcomes data. 

There are many challenges that inhibit the ability of state and local communities to collect and use reliable data to support and improve youth apprenticeship programs. However, there are steps that state and local leaders can take to strengthen data collection and analysis, including: 

There are also qualitative methods that can be used to support findings and build a comprehensive understanding of youth apprenticeship programs. This report explores how qualitative data supports findings, and supplements gaps in data.

This report was made possible by the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA). PAYA was created by New America and includes Advance CTE, CareerWise Colorado, Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeships at Trident Technical College, Education Strategy Group, JFF, The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and National Governors Association. PAYA is appreciative of the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ballmer Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Siemens Foundation.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

By admin in Uncategorized
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PAYA National Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina

Monday, March 25th, 2019

Earlier this month, the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeships (PAYA), of which Advance CTE is one of the partners, held a national meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. This convening included educators, employers, policymakers, community leaders and PAYA partners. Over the course of two days, PAYA featured sessions such as: panels on the perspectives from school districts, employers, students and national leaders; a keynote presentation from Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA and Chair of the Siemens Foundation; a discussion with Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Alabama and a tour of the youth apprenticeship labs at Trident Technical College. Advance CTE also led a session, Seeing Connections in PAYA & Perkins, which walked through the major components of Perkins V and how Perkins V and PAYA’s principles align.

The conference began by highlighting the success of youth apprenticeships through personal examples of new opportunities and achievements.  Data demonstrating the impact of youth apprenticeships was also shared, for example for $1 the government puts into apprenticeships, there is a $23 return on investment.

A favorite part of the conference for attendees was the panel of five youth apprentices:

The impressive group spoke about what led them to their apprenticeships, what they are getting out of their programs and their plans for continuing education and employment. Most were prompted to explore apprenticeships by parents, school counselors or teachers who believed in the potential of these programs. All on the panel shared that it was difficult to make the decision to enroll in a youth apprenticeship program instead of the traditional educational path that their peers were on, and that they themselves had always planned on doing. However, there was unanimous agreement that the program is well worth it,  and that the ability to follow their passions by combining work and academic skills has been incredibly positive. To learn more about how youth apprenticeships work for students, check out this infographic from PAYA.

Attendees had the opportunity to tour the meeting location’s, Trident Technical College, culinary, nursing and industrial mechanics lab spaces where youth apprentices’ technical coursework is held. Each space was designed to provide students with the best and most realistic learning experience. For example, the nursing lab space includes replicas of hospital rooms, so that students can gain hands-on experiences in a setting that mirrors the workplace.The lab experience  includes high fidelity mannequins that can mock different scenarios that a participant can expect to encounter in a patient. The mannequins are able to make noise, change color and even produce fluids. Students are able to apply the knowledge and skills they learn on the mannequins, setting them up for success in the workplace.

For more information on the intersection of Career Technical Education (CTE) and youth apprenticeships read Advance CTE’s blog, Incorporating Youth Apprenticeships in CTE Pathways. To learn about best practices, as well as common challenges  linking CTE and apprenticeships, check out a report from Advance CTE in partnership with JFF, Vivayic and RTI International, Opportunities for Connecting Secondary CTE Students and Apprenticeships. This report was developed through a contract with the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, at the U.S. Department of Education.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

By admin in Uncategorized
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Incorporating Youth Apprenticeships in Career Technical Education Pathways

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

This blog was originally published as part of the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship Blog Series

By integrating classroom instruction and hands-on learning, both youth apprenticeships and Career Technical Education (CTE) can enhance a learner’s educational experience and better prepare them for future career success. Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE underscores the significance of coordinating high-quality youth apprenticeships and CTE, empowering learners through work-based learning and strong systems alignment anchored in learner success. Rather than isolating CTE as a separate educational strategy, an integrated approach to education and training can ensure that all learners have opportunities to succeed in a career of their choosing.

Advance CTE recently expanded our commitment to youth apprenticeship programs by joining the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship Initiative (PAYA). CTE can and should have a clear role in helping to achieve all five of the PAYA principles for high quality youth apprenticeships. In particular, the “Career-Oriented” PAYA principle that “learning is structured around knowledge, skills, and competencies that lead to careers with family-supporting wages” is supported by bringing together apprenticeship and CTE programs.

High-quality youth apprenticeships share the same core elements as CTE programs of study. For example, Advance CTE’s Policy Benchmark Tool identifies rigorous course standards and progressive, sequenced courses; secondary and postsecondary alignment and early postsecondary offerings; industry involvement; labor market demand; and high-quality instruction and experiential learning as necessary for a program to be considered high quality – all of which are reflected across the PAYA principles.

What This Looks Like in Practice

The Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK) program showcases the opportunities that become available to students when instructional alignment and programmatic articulation are coordinated between CTE and youth apprenticeships. TRACK is a statewide program, overseen by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education, that supports secondary students participating in registered youth apprenticeships. Employers and educators work together through TRACK to create youth pre-apprenticeships that match registered apprenticeships, as well as select a four-course CTE sequence and a coordinated industry certification.

TRACK first launched with a manufacturing pilot in thirteen high schools during the 2013 – 2014 school year. Since then the program has been scaled to include other schools and additional skilled trades. The program utilizes Kentucky’s existing CTE infrastructure to create a pipeline for students that begins in high school and culminates in an industry-recognized credential, paid work experience and, in many cases, advanced standing within a full Registered Apprenticeship.

Another example is the Apprenticeship Maryland Program (AMP), created as a new CTE program of study through a partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education and Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation. AMP students are able to participate in paid work based learning, enroll in applicable academic courses and spend time with a mentor from a relevant industry. One of the intentions of AMP is for students to understand the direct connection between their educational experience and the state’s workforce demands. Participants benefit from the chance to “earn and learn” with local businesses, while also getting credit toward high school graduation and earning a credential- underscoring the importance of combining academics and workforce skills.

Over the past two years, AMP was rolled out on a trial basis in two county public school systems. These pilot programs were so successful that AMP is now scaled in additional districts across the state. To create strong AMP sites, the state works with local businesses in addition to the local school system in order to provide students with a directly applicable learning experience.

For more examples of best practices, as well as common challenges, in linking CTE and apprenticeships, check out a report from Advance CTE in partnership with JFF, Vivayic and RTI International on Opportunities for Connecting Secondary CTE Students and Apprenticeships. This report was developed through a contract with the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, at the U.S. Department of Education.

Meredith Hills, Policy Associate

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