The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a grant program to strengthen, modernize, expand and diversify its Registered Apprenticeship Program to enable more workers to earn while they learn and find reliable pathways to the middle class.
Part of President Biden’s ongoing strategy to strengthen Registered Apprenticeships, the department’s “Apprenticeship Building America” program will make $113 million in grant funding available, including up to $50 million to support equity partnerships and pre-apprenticeship activities to increase enrollment in Registered Apprenticeship Programs. The grants will further the Biden-Harris administration’s goals and priorities for a strong and equitable post-pandemic economic recovery by connecting Americans to good quality jobs in priority industry sectors, including critical supply chain industries and among populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“For a young person starting their career or someone seeking a career change, Registered Apprenticeships provide equitable pathways to the middle class,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “This earn-as-you-learn model is helping to grow our economy and supports the Biden-Harris administration’s strategy to ensure marginalized populations access to good jobs, a key to a successful and equitable recovery.”
“The Apprenticeship Building America grant program will support the Department of Labor’s efforts to empower workers – morning, noon and night – advance racial equity, give workers at-risk of exploitation a path to a good job and provide workers with access to health care and secure retirements throughout their careers,” Secretary Walsh added.
Using a coordinated national investment strategy, the Apprenticeship Building America grant program will strengthen and modernize the RAP system, increase equity and accessibility in program delivery to apprentices, bring the Registered Apprenticeship model to more industries, and improve RAP completion rates for under-represented populations and underserved communities.
Apprenticeship Building America program grant recipients will work with various partners to support and develop the Registered Apprenticeship ecosystem. These partnerships will include:
- State apprenticeship system building and modernization.
- Expansion of Registered Apprenticeship Program opportunities for youth.
- Ensuring equitable Registered Apprenticeship Program pathways through pre-apprenticeship leading to RAP enrollment and equity partnerships.
- Registered Apprenticeship hubs.
Eligible applicants include nonprofits, labor organizations, public and state institutions of higher education, and county governments. Additional eligibility requirements will be included. Finalists will receive awards from $1 to $8 million.
Read more about the department’s broader efforts to connect career seekers with apprenticeship opportunities and expand apprenticeship into new sectors and industries.