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Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative

Become an Apprentice Trailblazer

We will begin accepting applications for the second cohort in 2024.

What is the Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative?

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The Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative creates a national network of diverse apprentices and apprenticeship graduates (graduates) of all ages and backgrounds to feature their stories and hear their perspectives, show how Registered Apprenticeships increase opportunities for underserved populations, and bring awareness to other career seekers who may be interested in becoming apprentices. 

Alongside the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Apprentice Trailblazers will join a national movement to expand, diversify, modernize, and strengthen Registered Apprenticeship across America. Learn more about the Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative in this blog post from Employment and Training Administration Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Brent Parton.

DOL hosted an Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative Applicant Webinar on September 7. If you missed the event, please view the recording:

Webinar Q&A

DOL Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative

DOL Press Release

Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative launched on 86th anniversary of National Apprenticeship Act.

Apprentice Trailblazer Fact Sheet

Apprentice Trailblazers will exercise valuable skills such as teamwork, leadership, and public speaking.

Apprentice Trailblazer Application Checklist

Follow this guide to help complete the Apprentice Trailblazer application.

Why Become an Apprentice Trailblazer?

Serving as an Apprentice Trailblazer is a professional development opportunity. Apprentice Trailblazers will exercise valuable skills such as teamwork, leadership, and public speaking. They will also have opportunities to engage with stakeholders and apprentice peers, along with the following benefits: 

  • Obtain national recognition from the U.S. Department of Labor as an Apprentice Trailblazer; 
  • Serve as a role model and spokesperson for other career seekers across the country by sharing your story and experience as an apprentice; 
  • Join a network of apprentices and recent graduates to engage in peer mentoring and share best practices and lessons learned;
  • Network with Apprenticeship Ambassadors and cultivate mentoring relationships; and  
  • Provide valuable feedback to the U.S. Department of Labor to shape Registered Apprenticeship expansion and diversification in your industry, local area, and across the country. 

Who Can Become an Apprentice Trailblazer?

The first cohort of Apprentice Trailblazers is focused on youth.  Listed below are some of the key eligibility criteria to become a youth Apprentice Trailblazer: 

  • Be a current youth apprentice (aged 16-24) in a Registered Apprenticeship program for at least 6 months or recent youth apprenticeship graduate within the past 3 years; 
  • Be an apprentice/graduate from a Registered Apprenticeship program in good standing who has shown exemplary leadership, mentoring, teamwork, promotional activities, and/or has a transformative story as an apprentice; 
  • Be currently working in an industry/occupation similar to your completed Registered Apprenticeship program (if an apprentice graduate); 
  • Make a year-long commitment to promote Registered Apprenticeship; and
  • Submit a complete application, including signatures from the apprentice/graduate, Registered Apprenticeship sponsor, and if applicable, a parent/legal guardian. 

What are the Core Expectations of Apprentice Trailblazers?

Apprentice Trailblazers will be expected to commit to the following Core Expectations during their 1-year term as an Apprentice Trailblazer:

  • An apprentice/graduate will be expected to commit to attend a kick-off event, either virtually or in-person;
  • Engage in opportunities to share their perspectives on Registered Apprenticeship and their program experiences;
  • May have their name, title, and the name of their Registered Apprenticeship sponsor publicized on the website and included in press releases;
  • Virtually attend quarterly meetings with DOL;
  • Complete at least one outreach activity from the Menu of Outreach Activities listed in the Apprentice Trailblazer Application
  • Work closely with their Registered Apprenticeship sponsor, who will oversee their participation in the Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative and help coordinate completion of any selected outreach activities and these core expectations; and
  • Maintain professionalism, open communication, and transparency with their Registered Apprenticeship sponsor and DOL with respect to their participation in this Initiative.

See what others are saying about Apprentice Trailblazers

Spread the word about #ApprenticeTrailblazers and #ApprenticeshipUSA!

As a @USDOL #ApprenticeTrailblazer, Luis Mencias has been sharing his apprenticeship story and raising awareness of Registered Apprenticeship as a career choice for young people. Learn more about the Apprentice Trailblazer program: #YAW2024


May 7

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On this last day of #NationalApprenticeshipWeek, we're celebrating Landon Malanoski, who attained his CNC Machinist Journey Worker Certification at CTM Corp & was named an #ApprenticeTrailblazer by the @USDOL. Full story: #NAW2023 #apprenticeship


Nov 17

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Why become an #ApprenticeTrailblazer? ✔ build teamwork, leadership and public speaking skills ✔ network ✔ ️help expand and diversify apprenticeships ✔ find mentors ✔ share knowledge ✔ make friends ✔ get recognized #ApprenticeshipUSA


Apr 12

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