Recognizing Trailblazers and Innovators of Registered Apprenticeship

I believe deeply in Registered Apprenticeship programs because I’ve seen how they can change lives.  Since my very first day as secretary of labor, I’ve called apprenticeship one of America’s best-kept secrets.  It’s been 75 years since the National Apprenticeship Act was signed, and in that time, apprenticeships have come a long way to advance the quality and breadth of training available to America’s workers.  We have reinvented apprenticeships in ways never imagined back then.

Tomorrow, the Labor Department will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act by hosting a “National Education and Action Summit.”  This summit will bring together leaders in the apprenticeship community to look ahead at the exciting and extraordinary future of apprenticeship.

As part of this celebration, the Department will recognize trailblazers and innovators from throughout the Registered Apprenticeship  system for their long-standing success and innovative approaches to training U.S. workers.  Today, I was greatly honored to invite these leaders to the Department of Labor for a rooftop gathering and thank them for their continued focus on innovative training programs.

Registered Apprenticeship trailblazer and innovator award recipients pose with Secretary Solis.

The programs selected for recognition come from a wide range of industries and geographic locations. Yet, they all share a unique understanding of how a combination of mentor-based, on-the-job training and classroom instruction can provide a worker with the skills needed to not only do a job, but become a respected journeyworker throughout his or her career.

Thanks to their efforts, yesterday’s bricklayers are becoming today’s building retrofitters. They are training computer programmers, pharmacy techs, and even young doctors at the Center for Disease Control to improve patient care. They are fostering partnerships with employers, community colleges and state workforce agencies to maximize that growth and expand our reach.

The U.S. Department of Labor is excited to highlight these programs and encourage efforts to make Registered Apprenticeship bigger, better and strong.

For a complete list of Registered Apprenticeship’s Trailblazers and Innovators, please visit the Registered Apprecticeship Community of Practice.

Tomorrow’s National Education and Action Summit will begin at 8:30 am EDT and will be live-streamed on the Labor Department’s website at  To follow the event live on Twitter and/or join the conversation, use the hashtag #RA75th.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. John says:

    How about the State of California who has put a stranglehold on apprenticeship programs by significantly reducing the RSI funding for these programs. The State has taken away 60% of the funding for these programs and has allowed LEA’s to flex the funding 100% away from the Apprentice Program Sponsors leaving the apprentice programs with zero funding. What can be done to strengthen, not hurt these valuable programs in the State of California?

  2. Mark says:

    USDOL: Physical Therapy Aide Occupation Granted Nat’l Apprenticeship Status
    Green Lights NJ Healthcare Employers’ Occupation Petition
    – First ever national PT Aide apprenticeship designation;
    – New Jersey program created employer consortium to recruit, mentor, train and place PT Aides into rehab jobs;
    – Apprenticeship programs may be developed and implemented nationally to further training efforts for physical therapy aides.

    Newark, N.J. 8/2/12 – The U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Apprenticeship (USDOL) recently announced it has approved the occupation of Physical Therapy Aide as a nationally recognized apprenticeship occupation, allowing development of Physical Therapy Aide apprenticeship programs on a national level.

    The apprenticeship designation is the first of its kind within the field of physical therapy in the United States.

    The benchmark approval comes after almost two years of exhaustive research into the employment growth of physical therapy (PT) and the corresponding urgent need for effective PT Aide training by the petitioner, New Jersey Healthcare Employers District 1199J’s Training and Development Fund, which petitioned the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Apprenticeship to recognize the occupation as an occupation in which apprenticeship opportunities may be created. With its approval, the occupation has now been added to nearly 1,000 apprenticeship occupations in the U.S. Upon completion, participants receive a nationally recognized certificate of completion from the U.S. Department of Labor.

    The USDOL’s apprenticeship designation clears the way for further training development among physical therapy aides in the U.S., and comes on the heels of a successful partnership between the apprenticeship petitioner, New Jersey Healthcare Employers District 1199J’s Training and Development Fund (Fund) and the New Jersey Department of Labor Workforce Development. Both entities partnered over the last two years to develop a training grant entitled Youth Transitions to Work (YTTW) Physical Therapy Aide Apprenticeship aimed at recruiting, mentoring, training and placing into registered apprenticeship programs area high school juniors and seniors as Physical Therapy Aides.

    “With Physical Therapy careers expected to balloon by over 30 percent in the next ten years, District 1199J is excited to have the opportunity to sponsor a registered apprenticeship program and mentor and train area high school students in physical therapy careers. We value the opportunity to make a difference in a young person’s life,” said Susan Cleary, District 1199J’s President.

    The YTTW program trains area high school juniors and seniors, equipping them with both work readiness skills and the academic training needed to be successful in the healthcare industry. Interested students are screened by a professional placement counselor, administered a basic skills test to gauge academic achievement and then offered the chance to participate as a registered apprentice. Participants also experience 40 hours of job shadowing as a PT Aide at a hospital and/or nursing home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *