AACC recommends that executives be prepared to make a thorough case to board members. This should include not only why the college should pursue registered apprenticeship programs, but how the institution will do so. That case should be to the extent, data driven. These data should include labor market information (LMI), including employment projections, including wage and salary data, local and regional economic data, and forecasting. It may also include sector strategies, as well as relevant internal information that will assist in making the case along with supporting statistics that demonstrate success related to student completion and high levels of job placement.
Community college trustees play a vital role in college leadership, internally and externally. Effective boards form a cohesive group able to articulate and represent the public interest, establish a climate for learning, and monitor the effectiveness of the institution. Boards of trustees do not do the work of their institutions; they establish standards for that work through the policies they create and approve. In this role, board members can be key champions for registered apprenticeship. Given this, messaging with and to members of the college board regarding the value and need for registered apprenticeship is essential.
AACC recommends building a strong case to make to board members should center around the value Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) will bring to the college and the community. To that end, the executive will want to be able to make a case rooted in workforce and economic development considerations and increase in new student populations and revenue. Data that show favorable employment projections in the target sector, and that show a need for a new or enhanced pipeline of skilled employees, make a strong case for an institution to address that need. As part of making the case for need, the executive will want to be able to identify specific employers within the pipeline who have outstanding and/or projected workforce needs, and for whom registered apprenticeship is an attractive option. Ideally, the executive will want to be able to announce specific commitments from those employers.
AACC also recommends that the executive build a strong partnership with their local workforce boards and economic development entities to make the shared case that RAPs will provide a tangible economic and workforce development benefit to the community. Further, their enlistment and engagement will demonstrate the presence of trusted and valued community partners working in a collaborative fashion which can provide reassurance that the institution is not the sole champion of pursuing these ends.
The executive also will need to be prepared to articulate the college’s internal capacity to develop and maintain RAPs. Questions of budgetary impact, human capital, curriculum, and infrastructure are all aspects of internal capacity. A thoughtfully conducted asset assessment will ensure that the executive is well-prepared to address these questions. The answers may also vary depending on what role the institution plans to play in a registered apprenticeship program (Sponsor, Intermediary, Related Technical Instruction (RTI)) provider).
ECCA Success Stories and Promising Practices
- Klor de Alva, J., Schneider, M. (2018). opens in a new windowApprenticeship and Community Colleges, do they have a future togetheropens PDF file . American Enterprise Institute.
- McCarthy, MA., Palmer, I., Prebil, M. (2017). opens in a new windowConnecting apprenticeships and higher education.opens PDF file New American. Center of Education and Skills.
- Reed, A., Yung-Hsu Liu, A., Kleinman, R., Mastri, A., Reed, D., Sattar, S., Ziegler, J. (2012). An effectiveness assessment and cost-benefit analysis of registered apprenticeships in 10 states. Mathematical Policy Researchopens PDF file
- Dimeny, E., Williamson, D., Yates, L., Hinson, D. (2019). opens in a new windowSkilling up the scope of modern apprenticeship.opens PDF file The Urban Institute
- Toglia, J. (2017). opens in a new windowWhat we know about equity and diversity in apprenticeship.opens PDF file Jobs for The Future