City of Philadelphia

Capacity Building for Apprenticeship Sponsors

Posted on December 18, 2017

Notice of Grant Availability

BACKGROUND
Registered Apprenticeship is an employer-driven program that combines on-the-job training and job related technical instruction to develop relevant worker skills and establish pathways to higher levels of employment and wages.

Many workforce systems around the country have adopted Registered Apprenticeship as an effective strategy to create opportunities for employers to develop highly skilled workers and increase productivity and for adult, dislocated worker, and youth employees to enhance their skills and potential for career advancement in a work based learning environment.

Registered Apprenticeship meets the business needs of employers for qualified workers in more than 1,000 occupations, including careers in health care, information technology, transportation, and energy. As an “earn and learn” model, apprentices are employed and earn wages from the first day on the job. As a workforce development strategy, apprenticeship contributes to higher performance outcomes in employment, retention, earnings, and credential attainment. Graduates of apprenticeship programs receive an industry issued, nationally recognized credential.

Successful apprenticeships are born from collaboration among partners which include businesses, workforce intermediaries such as industry associations or labor organizations, educational institutions, the public workforce system, and other key community organizations. The partnership works together to identify the resources needed, design the apprenticeship program, and recruit apprentices. This collaboration addresses demands in the labor market for particular skills, increases the public-private investment in those critical skills, and supports an employer practice that creates jobs that pay.

The two critical components to an effective apprenticeship are on-the-job training and job related technical instruction. On-the-job training is provided by an experienced employee as a teacher or mentor for the newly hired apprentice. On-the-job training is focused on the specific skills and knowledge necessary to become proficient in the job. The on-the-job training is complemented with job related technical instruction provided by a community college, technical school or the business itself to provide the academic instruction necessary to competently do the job. There is flexibility to design related instruction so that courses can be based at the school, provided at the job site, or completed on-line. It can take place during regular work hours or after work hours. The Registered Apprenticeship approach to teaching gives the apprentice a chance to combine lessons learned during classroom instruction along with feedback and coaching from a mentor in the job setting. Successful mentoring produces many
benefits to businesses including increased safety, stronger team-work, improved quality and quantity of work, less waste, lower turnover, and more efficient work habits.

For more information, visit the ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit at http://www.dol.gov/apprenticeship/toolkit.htm.

The Quick-Start Toolkit: Building Registered Apprenticeship Programs contains a step-by-step outline for developing a customized program.

THE FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania established the Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) in March 2016 to invest in the valuable workforce development strategy of Registered Apprenticeship. The three core goals of the ATO are to increase the overall number of apprentices, educate the public about the merits of apprenticeship, and expand apprenticeship opportunities into non-traditional industries and occupations. Pennsylvania has already started to see the results of this commitment as total Registered Apprentices have grown from 13,282 at the time the ATO was established in March 2016 to 15,013 as of September 27, 2017.

The ATO acknowledges the financial concerns that employers have when they consider a Registered Apprenticeship partnership. There is a time and monetary investment to establishing the infrastructure necessary to support a robust apprenticeship program. Therefore, in alignment with the goals of the Commonwealth’s workforce development system as detailed in the State Plan, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry is offering $1.5 million in state funds to assist with the costs to establish or expand a Registered Apprenticeship sponsorship.

This funding opportunity is designed to support businesses, industry associations, chambers of commerce, training providers, career and technical Centers, and intermediaries interested in sponsoring Registered Apprenticeship programs.

The following are four types of apprenticeship sponsors:
1) Individual Non-Joint: Single employer not represented
2) Individual Joint: Single employer and union
3) Group Non-Joint: Multi-employer not represented
4) Group Joint: Multi-employer and union or unions

The following are three types of registered apprenticeship:
1) Time Based: Apprentice progress is measured by time spent on the job or in the classroom
2) Competency Based: Apprentice progress is measured by their ability to perform a job function to the specifications required by the employer
3) Hybrid: Some progress is measured in hours while other progress is measured in competencies

Employers or organizations seeking to become a Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor should begin by identifying internal workforce needs of the participating company. The sponsor should contact the ATO to inform the department about their interest in sponsoring an apprenticeship or adding a trade/occupation to an existing apprenticeship. The potential sponsor will need to determine the type of sponsorship and type of apprenticeship from the lists above as well as the target occupation and minimum qualifications to apply. Existing sponsors may apply for funds to enhance their apprenticeship or to add trades or occupations to their existing apprenticeship programs.

The ATO will provide technical assistance to the sponsor and review the Registered Apprenticeship Standards application packet. The sponsor, with employer participation, will determine the structure, content and way the related technical instruction (RTI) will be delivered. The sponsor is required to provide a letter from the training provider designated as a partner for the Registered Apprenticeship. The sponsor must inform the ATO about their strategy for recruitment and development of an apprenticeship pipeline with multiple entry points.

The following are requirements for employers and or unions seeking to become an Individual Non-Joint or Individual Joint Sponsor:
• Identify the industry sectors within the region
• Identify and engage local partners and resources such as workforce development boards, training providers, regional PA CareerLink® offices, intermediaries, pools of candidates, and pipelines of potential apprentices
• Review and discuss the Registered Apprenticeship Standards application packet with the ATO
• Establish a method for tracking apprentice on-the-job training and related technical instruction hours
• Receive Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Data System (RAPIDS) training from the ATO or US Department of Labor
• Develop working relationships with ATO field representatives and intermediary for technical assistance
• Be vigilant in collecting and disseminating all pertinent information to the Apprenticeship and Training Office such as:
o Employer acceptance agreements
o Apprentice agreements

The following are requirements for organizations such as chambers of commerce, industry associations, education providers, unions, or intermediaries seeking to become a Group Non-Joint or Group Joint

Sponsor:
• Identify the industry sectors within the region
• Identify employers that will participate in the program
• Identify and engage local partners and resources such as workforce development boards, training providers, regional PA CareerLink® offices, intermediaries, pools of candidates, and pipelines of potential apprentices
• Review and discuss the Registered Apprenticeship Standards application packet with the ATO
• Establish a method for tracking apprentice on-the-job training and related technical instruction hours
• Receive RAPIDS sponsor training from the ATO or US Department of Labor
• Develop working relationships with ATO field representatives and intermediary for technical assistance
• Be vigilant in collecting and disseminating all pertinent information to the Apprenticeship and Training Office such as:
o Employer acceptance agreements
o Apprentice agreements
o Work with employers to customize their work process to fit their needs

The funding can be used for the following purposes:
• Capacity Building for Registered Apprenticeship sponsors to develop the infrastructure for a workforce development partnership to support employers participating in the apprenticeship.  This includes customizing curriculum to meet the employers’ skill requirements, identifying training providers as partners to deliver customized related technical instruction, applying to the PA Joint Apprenticeship Council for sponsorship, administering RA programs, scheduling training, documenting apprentice’s status into RAPIDS, coordinating mentoring for the apprentices for on the job learning, and coordinating all activities with employers to guarantee a successful program. Train-the-Trainer and Mentor for Success programs: Customized training requires subject matter experts from the industry to develop industry specific curriculum. Since many employers do not have the resources to support internal training, train-the-trainer programs build capacity for the regional training network to meet the employers’ needs for skill development. Customized related technical instruction or classroom training along with mentoring provide the apprentice with support systems to graduate to journeyperson. Coordination of mentors with apprentices and monitoring the apprentice’s progress are essential for a successful program.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS & DEADLINE

Those wishing to apply for funds must complete the “Grant Application and Budget Form – Capacity
Building for Apprenticeship Sponsors” which can be found at by visiting: http://www.dli.pa.gov/Businesses/Workforce-Development/grants.

Completed applications must be emailed to: RA-LIBWDA-GRANTSFISC@pa.gov.

All applications must be received by December 29, 2017 5 p.m. Eastern Time


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