Last week the U.S. Department of Labor announced that $100 million in grants are available to expand registered apprenticeship programs in high-skilled, high-growth industries like healthcare, biotechnology, information technology and advanced manufacturing. Registered Apprenticeships have long been known as one of the best training models for skilled trades ("earn while you learn"), yet the model remains underutilized in the United States. The unprecedented investment will help to transform apprenticeships for the 21st century and serves as a catalyst to increase the use of apprenticeship to meet employer needs in these sectors.
"An apprenticeship is the 'other 4-year degree.' It is a tried and true job training strategy that offers a reliable path to the middle class, with not debt," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez who announced the grant opportunity during a visit to the Urban Technology Project's Information Technology registered apprenticeship program in Philadelphia. "I encourage everyone to apply for this federal grant so that we can significantly scale apprenticeship opportunities for many more Americans in new industries and occupations."