Describes state efforts for engaging employers through outreach, apprentice recruitment, and training subsidies while strengthening linkages to postsecondary and workforce development systems and improving entry and completion rates among low-skilled adults.
“The [Working Poor Families Project] encourages its partners to engage state policymakers to ensure that postsecondary education and skills development programs sufficiently serve and capably prepare low-skilled adults for family-sustaining careers….To do so, states need to align systems and resources toward market-driven, skill-building strategies such as apprenticeship….The brief makes specific policy recommendations and suggests strategies [to accomplish this]” (p.2).  (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

Author identifies the following lessons from state experiences: Learning From State Innovation: “South Carolina has invested in a series of strategies to persuade employers to offer apprenticeships as a way to meet their skilled workforce needs….The initiative, Apprenticeship Carolina, guides employers through the process of developing apprenticeship programs, identifying appropriate service providers and resources, and drawing up and submitting paperwork mandated for federal registration. Apprenticeship Carolina now generates more than 60 percent of the state’s apprenticeship leads” (p.9). Increasing Outreach to Employers: “Alaska has stepped up its outreach efforts out of a concern that state residents lack the skills to compete with out-of-state workers for good paying jobs. Considering apprenticeship as one of the best routes to skill development and jobs for residents, state officials have directed staff time and WIA resources to promote the training model to employers….Since 2008 the state has trained 25 local One Stop employees as 'apprentice specialists' to supplement the federal office” (p.10). Author makes the following state policy recommendations: • “Expand apprentice promotion efforts by increasing staff levels of the state apprenticeship agency or, in case of states overseen by federal staff, by supporting positions within community college or workforce development agencies to conduct employer outreach and advance systems alignment” (p.17). • “Add the state or federal apprenticeship office to the list of mandated partners for the state WIA system, and require their co-location at local One-Stop Career Centers” (p.17). • “Establish a state certification process for registering pre-apprentices and ensuring quality control of programs” (p.17). • “Award competitive grants for mentorship that engage apprentices at risk of non-completion” (p.18). • “Develop statewide process for awarding college credit toward a degree for related technical instruction, on-the-job training and embedded industry-recognized credential” (p.18). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)