Apprenticeships have helped build America from its early beginnings to the present day. Among the early apprentices who went on to national distinction were George Washington (surveyor), Benjamin Franklin (printer) and Paul Revere (Silversmith). Thousands of others - carpenters, masons, shipwrights - did their part in developing and supporting the economy of our young nation and making the United States what it is today.
In 1937, the National Apprenticeship Act (NAA), also known as the Fitzgerald Act, was signed into law establishing the Registered Apprenticeship Program as it is today. The NAA permitted the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to issue regulations protecting the health, safety, and general welfare of apprentices (29 CFR Part 29) as well as preventing racial, ethnic, religious, age and gender discrimination in apprenticeship programs (29 CFR Part 30). Learn more about the regulations of apprenticeship.
Early in the 20th century under NAA legislation, apprenticeship began by primarily supporting workers in the skilled trades. In 2021, apprenticeship is still thriving and includes a range of industries and occupations ranging from the skilled trades and construction, to burgeoning industries like technology, healthcare, energy, and advanced manufacturing. Apprenticeship is a workforce solution that is evolving to meet the needs of employers and to create skilled workforces that meet the demands of the changing American labor market. Learn more or get started by exploring apprenticeship industries and occupations that are approved for use in a Registered Apprenticeship Program.