State Experiences Expanding Registered Apprenticeship: Findings from a Federal Grant Program
States reported that the SAE grants were an important factor in strengthening their capacity to promote, establish, and expand Registered Apprenticeships. Some of the key findings from this report include:
- With additional staff funded under the grant and new partnerships, states reported being able to develop more apprenticeship programs and expand the pipeline for apprentices. States also described strategies to strengthen the apprenticeship system, including increasing the capacity of staff to engage employers and register programs, improving access to administrative data on apprenticeship across states, and developing the technology and infrastructure to make program development easier.
- The most commonly cited goal for the SAE grant was to expand RA into nontraditional industries (17 states). The most common industries targeted by grantees for expansion were manufacturing (28 states), health care or biotechnology (27 states), and information technology (21 states). These are all industries that do not historically have high numbers of apprenticeships. Thirteen states reported promoting diversity as a goal, including increasing access to apprenticeship by underrepresented groups.
- Grantees leveraged partnerships across state agencies and other entities in an effort to build capacity for developing apprenticeships. States leveraged partnerships with departments of education and commerce, and other agencies, to expand apprenticeships. Other key partners included postsecondary schools or systems, state and local workforce boards, and industry associations and employers. Most states (28) also reported receiving support from the governor or the legislature.
The U.S. Department of Labor awarded $100 million in State Apprenticeship Expansion (SAE) grants to 36 states and one territory from 2016 to 2018. The key goals of the grants were to expand apprenticeship—including apprenticeship in nontraditional industries—and increase the diversity of the apprentice population. This report presents an analysis of activities under the grants, based on interviews with grantee representatives in early 2020, grant applications, and grantees’ quarterly performance reports.