Despite the pandemic, a national initiative led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to increase the number of apprentices and services throughout the U.S. has made significant advances in its first year.
Expanding Community College Apprenticeships (ECCA), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), had aimed to train 16,000 apprenticeships over three years. The project was on track to reach its first-year goal of adding 4,422 new apprentices. Then came the coronavirus. Still, the project was able to achieve 85 percent (3,742 new apprentices) of its goal by the end of June.
The initiative also is making inroads in placing more women into apprenticeships. Fifteen percent (556) of the new apprentices added in the first year are female, according to DOL. That rate is higher than the overall figure for all U.S. registered apprenticeship programs. In fiscal year 2019, 11 percent (4,273) of the 38,963 new apprentices in the U.S. were female, DOL data shows. Of the 282,494 active apprentices in FY2019, 9 percent (25,645) were female.