Adult Education and Pre-Apprenticeship – a Promising Partnership! | Maher & Maher
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Adult Education and Pre-Apprenticeship – a Promising Partnership!

Quality pre-apprenticeship programs provide pathways to apprenticeship for under-represented, disadvantaged, or low-skilled individuals.  Successful programs incorporate industry-approved training and curriculum, integrate hands-on training, lead to industry-recognized credentials, and provide robust supportive services.  Pre-apprenticeship programs do not stand alone; quality programs partner directly with apprenticeship sponsors and include explicit pathways into apprenticeship programs (and other employment opportunities) for successful participants.

These characteristics of pre-apprenticeship programs make them a great option for the adults and youth who receive services through Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs.  Across the country, ABE providers are partnering with or operating pre-apprenticeship programs and providing a recruitment pipeline into pre-apprenticeships.  For example:

  • In Delaware, Sussex Technical School partnered with the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship and the local Adult High School to create a 1-year electrical pre-apprenticeship program for the ESL population.  ​They created an integrated instructional class that runs parallel to the traditional first-year electrical training curriculum – covering the same material, but at a slower pace and with the benefit of both an electrical instructor and an ESL instructor in the classroom.  
  • Spokane Community College's Apprenticeship and Journeyman Training Center, Eastern Washington Apprenticeship Coordinators Council, and the state’s ABE division partnered to develop the Skilled Trades Preparation (STP) program aimed at providing a diverse and qualified pool of applicants for apprenticeship training programs.

electrical apprenticesAre you an ABE provider or state agency interested in learning more about pre-apprenticeship?  Maher & Maher recently provided a pre-apprenticeship webinar for the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education.  Check out the recording here!

Here are three steps you can take to start the conversation in your state!

  1. Get to know the apprenticeship players.  Check this map to see if apprenticeship in your state is administered by USDOL or a state agency and find points of contact.  Talk with your state’s apprenticeship director to learn about apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship activities and partnership opportunities. 
  2. Find apprenticeship programs and sponsors.  USDOL provides a database of apprenticeship job openings, and many states provide sponsor information on their apprenticeship websites.
  3. Learn about pre-apprenticeships in your state to understand the structure of programs and opportunities to engage.  Several states – including Massachusetts, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin – formally recognize pre-apprenticeships and can help identify quality programs.

Have questions or want to learn more?  We’d love to hear from you!  Contact us to set up an exploratory call.

Maher & Maher, an IMPAQ Company, is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The firm is U.S. Department of Labor’s national technical assistance provider supporting the Employment and Training Administration’s implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and a number of other priority initiatives of the administration that advance and promote the public workforce system. Maher is also currently involved in a number of sector strategy, regional planning, organizational strategic planning and training initiatives in multiple state and regional areas. For more information about our services, visit our website or call us at 1-888-90-Maher.

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