Registered apprenticeships

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can provide assistance to unemployed workers. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve this outcome are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program basics

  • Aim to increase employment and earnings through industry-specific on-the-job training, technical instruction, and industry-recognized certification for high-demand jobs
  • Combine on-the-job training with technical instruction
  • Participants receive incremental wage increases as they build skills and earn a nationally recognized certification upon completion
  • Employers cover the costs of training and wages paid to apprentices

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)

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Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by the Department of Labor's CLEAR database


Target population

Low- and moderate-income adults

Program cost

Variable

Implementation locations

Dates active

1937-Present

Outcomes and impact

  • Increased employment rate by 8.6 percentage points
  • Increased earnings by $6,595 in the 6th year, $5,839 more in the 9th year
  • Estimated career earnings average of $240,037 more than for similar nonparticipants
  • Over the career of an apprenticeship, the estimated social benefits exceed the social costs by more than $49,000

Keys to successful implementation

  • Start by engaging with local employers and industry groups to identify high-need skills and sectors that registered apprenticeships could fill.
  • Partner with existing workforce development programs, educational institutions (like high schools, community college, and vocational programs), and community-based organizations to recruit participants and build a diverse talent pipeline.
  • Create a marketing plan to recruit new employers, leveraging existing partner-employers as program champions. Be sure to address pre-existing concerns head on (such as time and cost) through methods including return-on-investment tools (like the calculator in the resources section below) and case studies.
  • Explore sectors with strong credentialing systems already in place, such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.
  • Develop a mutual investment plan with employers – when partners invest, they are more likely to show a greater commitment to the success of the program.
  • Build out support structures dedicated to participant retention, including mentorship programs and career counseling.

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