UPS Partnership with Registered Apprenticeship Program Offers Employees Quality Assurance

Editor’s note: The following guest post is authored by Patrick O’Leary, the human resources and veterans affairs manager for UPS. Read what other employers and workers have to say about apprenticeship here.

Pat O'LearyAt UPS, we always aim to treat our workers right – and a large part of that effort is making sure they have the necessary skills to excel at their jobs. Our training processes are varied and comprehensive – and thanks to our partnership with the Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship program, our potential employees know that.

To become registered, our training program went through rigorous review by the department’s Office of Apprenticeship – ensuring it provides workers with valuable skills which will help them succeed in the long term.

Having our delivery driver position registered with the RA program sends a clear message to job seekers that they will receive quality training with UPS. It assures potential employees that UPS has the tools to help learn and advance, and that we are committed to using those tools.

Now, UPS is turning its attention to the RA program with a renewed vigor. Recently UPS submitted modifications to the program to incorporate changes from the latest labor agreement.  The program has been re-approved and we are moving forward with capitalizing on the advantages of a RA program for veterans.

The program benefits our veteran employees by working in concert with the G.I. Bill. Those who are eligible for educational funding through the bill will receive monthly stipends from the Department of Veterans Affairs in addition to their weekly UPS paychecks. This system helps to increase retention of our veteran employees and it bolsters our veteran outreach. UPS has committed to hire 50,000 veterans by 2018 and the RA program will be a crucial component to that effort.

UPS has pledged to send 2,000 people through our program by 2018. These new workers will work not just in package delivery, but in operations and automotive repair. This expansion builds on UPS’ longstanding commitment to the apprenticeship program.

Moving forward, we are confident the RA program will only grow as a component of the UPS experience. Finding and training dedicated workers is necessary to growing both a business and an economy. As a proud RA member, UPS is committed to helping equip workers with necessary skills to contribute to that growth.


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  1. Karl Jaensch says:

    I’m not impressed with two of UPS’s apprenticeships. Teaching new workers how UPS does its unique work processes (package delivery and “operations” — whatever that is and however it might differ from package delivery) amounts to glorified orientation, which every sensible employer does, not apprenticeship. At least not apprenticeship in the sense of life-enhancing skills development, equivalent to getting a worthwhile college degree. Bona fide apprenticeship needs to equip apprentices to perform a complex occupation for many different employers.

    I think that claiming UPS’s teaching its new employees about package delivery and “operations” is apprenticeship cheapens the whole concept.

    Does calling them apprenticeships qualify the veterans who are “apprenticed” in this way to get Vets benefits, including a stipend? That smacks of fraud.

    Why does UPS need public assistance (monthly stipends from the Department of Veterans Affairs in addition to the weekly UPS paychecks newly-hired veterans receive)? This large, prosperous company should not need government help “to increase retention of our veteran employees”. Doesn’t it pay new employees enough to motivate them to continue to work there?

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