Posts Tagged ‘Youth Apprenticeship Data’

Research Round-up: Building and Expanding Registered Apprentice Programs through Community College Partnerships

Thursday, November 30th, 2023

Advance CTE’s “Research Round-Up” blog series features summaries of relevant research reports and studies to elevate evidence-backed Career Technical Educational (CTE) policies and practices and topics related to college and career readiness. This month’s blog elevates state examples of how federal funding might be used to administer youth apprenticeship. These findings align with Advance CTE’s vision for the future of CTE where each learner’s skills are counted, valued, and portable. 


In celebration of Apprenticeship Month, we’re elevating two reports from New America that provide state CTE leaders with helpful information about opportunities to leverage (or braid) funding to support youth apprenticeship or registered apprenticeship (RA) programs.


Earlier this spring, New America published a blog, “Leveraging Existing Federal Funding Streams for Youth Apprenticeship,” in response to memos from the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), the U.S. Department of Education (DoE) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) outlining how the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (Perkins V) can be applied in more flexible and innovative ways to support youth apprenticeship. New America then published a research study in early November on the challenges and opportunities facing community colleges that want to expand apprenticeship opportunities to their students. This report, “Community Colleges and Apprenticeship: The Promise, the Challenge” expands on key blog recommendations; notably, that state CTE leaders should consider using federal funds to partner with an experienced intermediary organization to build out RA programs statewide

Apprenticeship Intermediaries

An apprenticeship intermediary is similar to “workforce intermediaries” in the public workforce system, which has a long history of facilitating connections between public and private services and workers. Unlike Registered Apprenticeship, which is well defined and regulated by the DOL, there is no definition of an “apprenticeship intermediary” in federal statute. In their study, New America utilizes the definition coined by the federal government, “An apprenticeship intermediary helps to build, launch, and run apprenticeship programs in collaboration with other apprenticeship partners. Just as many organizations may participate in apprenticeship partnerships—including employers, and often also labor organizations, secondary and postsecondary institutions, community-based organizations (CBOs), and industry organizations or associations—an equally wide array of organizations may perform intermediary functions.” 

Intermediaries typically support program development and delivery; stakeholder engagement; monitoring, evaluation, and support services; and strategy and field building. These responsibilities make community colleges a strong contender to serve in this role as many of these services are already built into the institution.


This study found that community colleges are uniquely positioned to support the expansion of apprentices by acting as apprenticeship intermediaries”


State and system policy plays a key role in supporting community colleges as apprenticeship intermediaries. State CTE leaders seeking to leverage community colleges to expand apprenticeship participation can:

For further reading

Leveraging Existing Federal Funding Streams for Youth Apprenticeship also addresses the use of federal funds for teacher preparation programs.

Please visit Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center for additional resources about the benefits of expanding apprenticeships and strategies for leveraging community college partnerships.

Amy Hodge, Membership and Policy Associate

By Layla Alagic in Research
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Simple Tools to Improve Youth Apprenticeship Data Quality

Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Despite its growing popularity, youth apprenticeship remains a relatively new strategy for connecting young people to the world of work and helping them access high-quality pathways to well-paying jobs. While public data on apprenticeship participation is readily available through the U.S. Department of Labor, very little is known about the reach of youth apprenticeship. 

The limited availability of public data on youth apprenticeship is due in part to the lack of a common definition of youth apprenticeship and limitations in data capacity at the state and local levels. To address the first challenge, the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), a national network of intermediary organizations, public agencies, non-profit organizations and foundations, is working to build field consensus around a common definition of youth apprenticeship. In 2018, PAYA identified four core elements of a high-quality youth apprenticeship program. 

That leaves remaining challenges around data capacity. Even as youth apprenticeship programs increase their enrollment, the existing apprenticeship data infrastructure is insufficient to monitor and support these emerging programs. State and federally administered Registered Apprenticeship programs can submit data through the Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System (RAPIDS), but this system cannot yet differentiate between traditional and youth apprenticeship programs. 

To help state and local intermediaries improve their youth apprenticeship data capacity, Advance CTE, through the PAYA network, developed a youth apprenticeship data toolkit. The toolkit is designed to address common challenges by compiling tools and resources that state and local intermediaries can use to improve the quality of youth apprenticeship data. It includes templates, guides and links to external resources that can be adapted and modified to suit different program needs.

The tools are organized around five key steps: 

The toolkit is meant for youth apprenticeship agencies and organizations at various levels of implementation, from early design to statewide expansion. 

To better understand the state of youth apprenticeship implementation, ensure equitable access to high-quality programs, and evaluate program impact, state and local leaders must strengthen the quality and accessibility of their youth apprenticeship data. Access Building A Youth Apprenticeship Data Ecosystem: A Starter Kit today in the Learning that Works Resource Center. 

View more resources on youth apprenticeship here.

By admin in Advance CTE Resources, Resources
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Using Data to Advance Youth Apprenticeship in Washington State

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

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

Youth apprenticeship programs provide high school learners with foundational skills and knowledge in various industries. As youth apprentices, learners become employees with a company where they can apply knowledge from their Career Technical Education (CTE) program in a real-world setting. Youth apprenticeship can also give young learners an advantage as the hours learners spend on the job and in related technical instruction lead to an industry-recognized credential or can be applied to an associate degree program. 

Given how invaluable youth apprenticeship programs are, it is important to have data to understand how programs are structured to ensure they are high quality and ensure equitable access and success. The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) youth apprenticeship program in Washington State is an example of a program that effectively leverages data to advance equity. 

AJAC’s Expansion into Youth Apprenticeship in Washington State

The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee supports Washington State’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries as an intermediary, providing training and connecting workers to career opportunities. AJAC was founded in 2008 as a public-private partnership between the state of Washington and the Machinists 751 union with an initial focus on developing the adult workforce through Registered Apprenticeship. Through partnerships with nearly 300 employers and the Washington State Community and Technical College system, AJAC provides 2,000 hours of instructional training leading apprentices to journey-level certification as a master tradesperson. Apprentices can take their certification directly into the workforce or build on their credentials and earn an associate or bachelor’s degree.

In 2017, AJAC expanded its apprenticeship program to include high school learners 16-18 years of age. This expansion was brought on for two reasons. First, high school CTE programs in Washington State expressed interest in apprenticeship opportunities for their students. Second, employer partners were interested in recruiting younger workers and creating a talent pipeline. With the support of Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, AJAC received a federal state apprenticeship expansion grant to pilot a youth apprenticeship program.

AJAC’s program targets high school students at the end of their sophomore or beginning of their junior years and recruits them into one-year youth apprenticeships designed to provide an entry-level foundation into the machining and industrial maintenance industries. Depending on the school district, students can participate in the youth apprenticeship as an after-school program where they split their time between working at the employer site or attending instructional courses for 10-15 hours per week. Some school districts integrate the youth apprenticeship into the school day, leveraging Washington State’s area technical centers, known in the state as Regional Skills Centers. The learner attends their home school for part of the day and either reports to their employer site or their designated Regional Skills Center to complete their instructional courses for the other half of the day.

AJAC’s Use of Data to Advance Equity

Data is important to AJAC’s commitment to equity. AJAC tracks a number of youth apprenticeship metrics in an effort to diversify the aerospace industry, which is overwhelmingly White and male. Since its inception in 2017, AJAC has enrolled over 225 youth apprentices with roughly 10 percent identifying as female and 35 percent as learners of color. 

One strategy AJAC is using to diversify participating youth apprentices is to develop inclusive marketing materials and provide platforms for apprentices from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to represent AJAC at conferences and other public events. Another strategy is to leverage partnerships with urban and rural school districts and community-based organizations who work with youth of color, opportunity youth and justice-involved youth.

Recognizing that recruitment alone is not enough, AJAC wants to ultimately leverage data to better understand outcomes of youth apprentices — whether they transition into a full-time Registered Apprenticeship program, pursue postsecondary education, or continue working in another field. Additionally, AJAC hopes to leverage data to better understand how to support youth apprentices through their apprenticeship and post-apprenticeship with career coaching, mentoring and other supports.

AJAC’s Strategy to Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has presented significant challenges for youth apprenticeship programs, and work-based learning overall. For AJAC, the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated an already existing problem. Many of AJAC’s employer partners are part of the aerospace supply chain for major aerospace companies such as Boeing, which was in the midst of production issues resulting from several high-profile mechanical malfunctions of its 737 MAX aircraft. This disruption to the supply chain plus the coronavirus pandemic had a devastating impact on AJAC’s recruitment of employer partners and apprentices. Many youth apprentices were laid off.

To address shifting labor market demands, AJAC transitioned to engaging new employer partners in order to place youth apprentices in the food and beverage manufacturing industry, which was considered essential during the pandemic. AJAC also surveyed its youth apprentices and instructors to identify the best approaches to offering online learning and ensure that learners stayed on track to complete their programs. Based on feedback from instructors and subject matter experts, AJAC identified courses that could be converted to virtual learning platforms. Courses that could not be taught virtually or required a lab component were put on hold until learners could safely meet again in person. As part of its virtual learning strategy, AJAC mailed over 150 kits to youth apprentices that contained hand tools and other materials. Students could then follow along with the instructor through an online video platform.

Through survey data, AJAC found that many youth apprentices discovered several benefits to online learning such as reduced travel times and costs for transportation and parking, increased flexibility to learn at their own pace, increased on-time attendance, reduced test taking anxiety, greater opportunity for one-on-one meetings with instructors, and 24/7 access to PowerPoints and other course materials. 

AJAC’s Success Evidence of Demand for Youth Apprenticeships

Data can be important in demonstrating the value of high-quality youth apprenticeship programs leading to positive outcomes for employers and equitable outcomes for youth. Over three years time, AJAC reports a nearly 500% growth in the number of youth apprentices, demonstrating the demand from young learners for opportunities to connect classroom learning to hands-on, real-world work experiences. AJAC’s success to date also demonstrates that, despite some skepticism, young apprentices can be valuable additions to a company. 

For additional resources on data and accountability,  access and equity, work-based learning, or area technical centers please visit Advance CTE’s Learning that Works Resource Center.

Brian Robinson, Policy Associate

By admin in Uncategorized