Historic federal investments in infrastructure, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing are expected to generate nearly three million jobs each year over the next decade. Achieving the promise of such investments will require a diverse, skilled, and ready workforce to build America’s next-generation infrastructure and economy. Yet, as NLC’s report, Hard to Fill Infrastructure Jobs: A Challenge to Building our Future, infrastructure Jobs remain hard to fill – taking 20 percent longer to fill than jobs in other industries on average. Apprenticeship – a nationally recognized pathway that combines on-the-job training with quality education – stands out as a key workforce development strategy for municipal leaders working to ensure their residents have good jobs, and their businesses have the skilled talent they need to be competitive. The results speak for themselves: the average starting salary for workers completing an apprenticeship is $80,000 a year..
As local leaders gather for NLC’s City Summit in Atlanta, the U.S. Department of Labor will be celebrating the 2023 National Apprenticeship Week “Registered Apprenticeship: Superhighway to Good Jobs” on November 13-19, 2023. National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is an annual celebration of the impact and potential of apprenticeship. Bringing together labor and business leaders, educational institutions, jobseekers, and local leaders across the country, NAW highlights the ways apprenticeship programs are preparing a highly skilled and inclusive workforce in cities, towns, and villages across the country!
NLC is taking action to help municipalities expand earn-and-learn models like apprenticeship, through programs like the Good Jobs, Great Cities Academy and Learning Network, and Youth Excel. In the last year, the city of Madison, Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program has allowed 15 high-school students to work for the city in Information Technology and Auto Repair roles – where they gain job skills, wages, and college credit. Research shows that employers who leverage apprenticeship programs see employee retention rates of businesses and governments alike.
Here are three ways local leaders can support National Apprenticeship Week:
- Issue a Proclamation: Elevate the importance of this training model for critical local industries, such as a clean energy workforce, and rebuilding our country’s infrastructure by issuing a proclamation.
- Host an Event: Uplift the power of apprenticeships in creating a critical talent pipeline that addresses your local workforce challenges through an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event.
- Promote National Apprenticeship Week and Amplify Your Work: Distribute the National Apprenticeship Week mailer to local community organizations and stakeholders and encourage them to participate in the national celebration. Submit your proclamations, events, and local actions to the Department of Labor so that they can amplify and share your work with others. Use the hashtags #NAW2023 and #ApprenticeshipUSA on social media posts.