Highlights promising practices shared by leaders in pre-apprenticeship programs that prepare and provide access to jobs in the construction sector.

“The construction sector in the United States is vital in both helping drive the country’s economic growth and in employing millions of people across the nation…. As the country looks to the construction industry to be a job creator and leader in moving the United States toward a more prosperous and greener economy, a greater understanding of the workforce strategies and polices that help shape our construction workforce is essential.

To help foster this understanding, the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Initiative (WSI) continues to investigate how pre-apprenticeship programs are used to train low-income and disadvantaged adults for careers in construction. The aim of this research is to shed light on how these programs may be better utilized as part of a broader workforce development strategy for the construction sector. For the research presented in this paper, [the authors] interviewed 25 leaders of promising and innovative pre-apprenticeship programs across the country to explore factors that impact how programs are designed and to identify policies that constrain and support their efforts” (p.iv).

“[The authors] asked the program leaders a range of questions about their program design, population served, partnerships, relationships to business and industry, funding, strategy with respect to ‘green,’ and impressions regarding public or industry policies that affect their work” (p. 2).

(Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

“[The] key findings from these interviews include: •Pre-apprenticeship programs’ unique designs and approaches are appropriate given the different needs of the populations they train, the various employers they serve and the specific job opportunities present in their local labor markets. •Pre-apprenticeship programs are incorporating green concepts into their curricula. •Programs are experiencing higher than average funding through ARRA and other sources, but accessing WIA funding remains challenging. •Programs often struggle to find resources to build and maintain effective industry partnerships that would connect graduates to jobs and strain to support program graduates for an appropriate amount of time after job placement. •Quality construction jobs and apprenticeship opportunities remain scarce for program graduates at the present time, but program leaders expect economic recovery will bring renewed demand for skilled construction workers. Above all, [the authors] found that pre-apprenticeship programs play a significant role in developing a skilled and diverse construction workforce. This role could be expanded, however, through additional support to local programs” (p.iv). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)