Open Date:March 22, 2021
Closing Date:April 29, 2021
The RA TA Centers of Excellence FOA will provide up to $31 million to support four RA TA Centers of Excellence to expand Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP), as described in 29 C.F.R. 29. Funds will be awarded through a cooperative agreement (one for each Center). The RA TA Centers of Excellence, in close coordination with the Department’s Office of Apprenticeship (OA), will provide technical expertise and services to current and future RAP customers to accelerate and support RAP expansion, improve equity in RAPs, and, ultimately, increase the effectiveness of the use of federal funding appropriated for the expansion of RAPs across the nation. Each designated RA TA Center of Excellence must plan to coordinate with the Department, Office of Apprenticeship (OA), State Apprenticeship Agencies (SAAs), and DOL-funded investments that support an expansion and diversification of Registered Apprenticeship.
RA TA Centers of Excellence will support the following key functions:
- Diversity and Inclusion Center will focus on supporting Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) efforts (29 C.F.R. 29 Part 30), providing technical assistance on effective strategies to support demonstrated increases in registered apprenticeship opportunities for underrepresented populations, and facilitating the development of other strategic partnerships and networks that support increasing diversity and inclusion in registered apprenticeship. Underrepresented populations within RAPs include but are not limited to women, people of color, ex-offenders, and persons with disabilities;
- Strategic Partnerships and System AlignmentCenter will focus on establishing, building, and sustaining partnerships that support system alignment of the national workforce and education systems to accelerate RAP adoption and expansion. This RA TA Center of Excellence will provide technical assistance on a national scope to RAP sponsors implementing RAPs, and will also support state and local workforce development boards, American Job Center programs and operators, governors and other essential stakeholders that drive and inform economic and workforce development policies and programs. The RA TA Center of Excellence will engage key stakeholders, including federal agencies (e.g., Department of Education), economic development organizations, business, and industry groups;
- Apprenticeship Occupations and Standards Center will focus on the development of RAP frameworks (competency-based, hybrid, and other innovative models), national RAP standards including those that include industry-recognized credentials, and supporting industry in meeting RAP design and development requirements in compliance with 29 C.F.R. Part 29, Subpart A; and
- Data and Performance and Best Practices Center will focus on conducting data analysis, data system building, and resource development that will support administrative and systems improvements, including technological advancements that promote registered apprenticeship within state systems.
The RA TA Centers of Excellence will focus on providing technical assistance on a national scale, working to support, expand, and diversify the registered apprenticeship system. The Centers will primarily engage key registered apprenticeship stakeholders and customers through a virtual platform/online presence. Applicants must develop comprehensive strategies that will provide technical assistance to key registered apprenticeship stakeholders and customers on a national scale (i.e. capacity to service and reach multiple geographic locations, as applicable, per Center).