The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has developed this Virtual Apprenticeship Network (VAN) Toolkit, with an investment from the U.S. Department of Labor, to expand registered apprenticeships through community colleges with their partners. AACC has collected best practices from over 60 community colleges that have been involved in the Expanding Community College Apprenticeship (ECCA) Initiative, and with support from the AACC Advisory Board of Community College Apprenticeships, generated this VAN Toolkit.
Through the work of the ECCA initiative, AACC concluded that while high-quality tools about registered apprenticeships for community colleges exist, few are compiled and organized specifically for community colleges. AACC has identified, organized, and, where necessary, created or customized tools for rapid adoption by community colleges.
To increase the number of individuals who can contribute to the American talent pool through registered apprenticeship preparation, AACC intentionally built these tools to showcase relevant programs across a myriad of community settings, occupational sectors and partners, and governance structures. All of these tools have been vetted by the AACC Advisory Board on Community College Apprenticeships, which is a national group of community college executives, and associated stakeholders including industry partners who reviewed them in January 2021.
The VAN Toolkit was designed specifically for community college audiences including, administrators, staff, and faculty.
The toolkit provides resources to:
- Executives and colleges to assess the viability and demand for registered apprenticeships.
- Assist in the establishment of registered apprenticeship programs.
- Build strategies to support the implementation and adaptation of registered apprenticeship programs with boards, faculty, staff, and industry partners.
- Manage and expand registered apprenticeship programs once they are established.
No single resource can cover the range of communities and circumstances in which registered apprenticeship may be deployed. Variations in the role the college will play, the funding and staffing, the partnerships that work collaboratively to institute and sustain registered apprenticeships, and the sectors and employers served, will vary widely from community to community. The user of this toolkit is encouraged to be thoughtful in assessing how best to use the individual elements in support of the specific populations that are to be served, and in identifying the expected outcomes.