The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) awarded $81 million in grants to 42 states and U.S. territories, with just over $6 million dedicated to Maryland, to improve and expand the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).
The “Building State Capacity to Expand Apprenticeship through Innovation” grants, administered by the Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) are funded through a two-tiered system in order o provide states with maximum flexibility to address local needs.
From the press release:
“Registered Apprenticeship Programs provide workers with the right skills needed in today’s labor market and can have a positive impact in fixing the skills gap that employers face,” said Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “This will be a great opportunity for young people who want to combine on-the-job training with relevant classroom education, while getting paid at the same time.”
“We thought it necessary to reward states who have demonstrated excellent performance in one of the Department’s key policy objectives,” Pallasch added. “The Department believes positive outcomes for those we serve must carry more weight as we look to award funding.”
Maryland received $450,000 from Tier 1 funding and was also one of twelve states to receive Tier 2 funding ($5.5 million), partially based on strong evidence of past performance in expanding RAPs. The Department expects the Tier 2 recipent states to go “above-and-beyond supporting the state’s basic Registered Apprenticeship structures in the state.”
More from the press release on possible activities grant funds may be used for:
- Expanding registered apprenticeships in healthcare, mental health care, addiction treatment, or alternative pain management occupations providing support to individuals living in rural areas;
- Incorporating specific strategies to support or expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities among all workers, including women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with a criminal record;
- Supporting system alignment and partnership through the establishment or expansion of the role of the business service representatives/apprenticeship navigators with the promotion of apprenticeship to partner systems;
- Developing innovative technical assistance strategies/approaches for Registered Apprenticeship sponsors;
- Establishing an employer incentive plan to expand or scale Registered Apprenticeships;
- Identifying specific strategies to support engagement with small businesses in nontraditional industries in Registered Apprenticeships; and
- Launching or expanding sector strategies to expand RAPs to new industries and/or new or non-traditional occupations in existing sectors.