Partnerships that Strengthen State Apprenticeship Expansion Efforts | Maher & Maher
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Partnerships that Strengthen State Apprenticeship Expansion Efforts

Successful workforce development efforts are all about partnerships.  To succeed, you need an ecosystem of collaboration and support that stretches across workforce development, education, and business.  In recognition of National Apprenticeship Week, we’re highlighting great examples of partnerships that states are using to expand apprenticeship opportunities for businesses and workers.  Have a great partnership you’re proud of?  Tell us about it in the comments!

Partnerships with local workforce areas.  Increasing the number of apprenticeships means expanding and accelerating business outreach and program development.  States like Idaho are using their local workforce partners as part of that effort.  Idaho redesigned its apprenticeship business outreach model to bring together workforce, education, and industry intermediary partners, and equip them to use a consultative sales model focused around business needs and customized solutions.  In each of the state’s six regions, they have a business outreach team that includes a “Regional Business Specialist” from the Job Center and an Apprenticeship Training Coordinator from the workforce training/ continuing education department of the technical or community college.  Learn more about Idaho’s approach here.

Partnerships with industry intermediaries.  Expanding apprenticeship into new sectors means finding organizations that businesses trust.  Alaska did just that by partnering with the Alaska Primary Care Association (APCA) to open apprenticeship opportunities in four new healthcare occupations: Community Health Worker, Clinical Medical Assistant, Medical Administrative Assistant, and Billing and Coding Specialist.  APCA is a private, nonprofit training and technical assistance organization of Alaska’s “safety-net” primary care providers.  With members across the state and a focus on providing primary care services to the underinsured, uninsured, and those living in medically underserved areas, dozens of employers could be quickly mobilized to implement apprenticeships.  Collaborating with this large and established network of healthcare employers created economies of scale that would be impossible to replicate without the APCA partnership.  Read more about their partnership here.

Partnerships across state agencies.  In many states, work-based learning strategies like apprenticeship are part of a larger effort to increase skills and grow the economy.  Such work reaches across the missions of many state agencies, and states that coordinate well get better results, faster.  Montana’s apprenticeship expansion efforts are part of a larger Main Street Montana Project, a statewide effort to address a looming skills shortage in the state.  The Main Street Project charged the commissioners of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (MTDLI) and the Montana University System (MUS) with bold goals, including strengthening partnerships between 2-year colleges and the business community, expanding apprenticeships, and providing opportunities for students to earn college credit for prior experience.  To reach these goals and coordinate the work of the two agencies, the state created a new position, the Director of Industry Driven Workforce Development Partnerships, and made it a dual-funded, joint appointment of MUS and the MTDLI.  Learn more about the impact this state collaboration is having on apprenticeship expansion here.

Maher & Maher is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in New Jersey and Washington, D.C.  Maher & Maher is a contracted technical assistance partner of the U.S Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship and committed to the continued expansion of apprenticeship as a key cornerstone of America’s workforce development 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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