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Celebrating 80 Years of Promoting Apprenticeship

The Department of Labor is committed to increasing the number of quality apprenticeships in the United States.


Apprenticeships have played an important role throughout our nation’s history, building and shaping the structures of our communities, and strengthening our economy. America’s workforce has evolved since the Colonial days, but apprenticeships remain a valuable pathway for Americans to learn the skills to succeed in good paying and rewarding jobs.

This week marks the 80th anniversary of the passage of the National Apprenticeship Act (also known as the Fitzgerald Act), which directed the U.S. Department of Labor to work with industry and states to promote apprenticeship programs across the country, and to formulate and promote labor standards necessary to safeguard the welfare of apprentices . The Act was integral in creating a new foundation for apprenticeship.

In the first half of the twentieth century, apprenticeship programs mainly involved the manufacturing, construction, and utilities industries. But after World War II, apprenticeship began to expand into new industries, training generations of firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians, and others. Today, hundreds of thousands of apprentices are employed in more than 1,000 occupations – and there’s more growth on the horizon.

In June 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order calling for the expansion of apprenticeships and reduction of regulatory burdens on workforce development programs. The Department of Labor is partnering with industry groups, companies, nonprofit organizations, unions, joint labor-management organizations, and many others to help them design apprenticeship programs that fit their unique industry.

We at the Department of Labor are committed to increasing the number of quality apprenticeships, including expansion into high-growth, emerging sectors where apprenticeships have historically been rare. This earn-while-you-learn model has historic and proven results, and we know that success will continue for generations to come.


John Ladd is the Administrator of the Employment and Training Agency’s Office of Apprenticeship and Training Administration.


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I would like to find my daughter an apprenticeship. Six years ago she suffered a Severe TBI. She had to learn how to walk, talk, swallow, eat..everything. 6 years later she is as healthy as a horse and works with her father in the scaffolding field. She is very strong and healthy physically but not so much cognitively back. She still struggles with reading and writing and math went right out the window.

Her job is very physically demanding and I would like to think there is something out there which is typically a man's job but one she could do without killing herself physically. She is a young woman age 25 and I would hate if she had to work scaffolding for the rest of her life.

I don't know if this site is where I should start but whoever reads this I pray you get it to someone who can Kessia in the right direction.

From a Mother who wants the best for my daughter.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Erin Bingham

Mr. Ladd;
The country was built on small business supporting Apprentices in various trades. Way to go under this Adminstration.