Starting in 2016, community colleges began to play a growing role to the expansion of registered apprenticeships nationwide. Many colleges have welcomed the U.S. Department of Labor’s call for apprenticeship expansion. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education formed a college consortium called the Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium (RACC), in which more than 350 colleges were involved with the mission to accept the college credit value of the registered apprenticeship completion certificate.
Following the development of RACC, AACC, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, was funded to continue the expansion in the role of community colleges with registered apprentices through the Expanding Community College Apprenticeships Initiative. AACC has found that for registered apprenticeships to continue to expand in occupations and programs throughout their state, community college executives be prepared to make a thoughtful case of to their support and its benefits to state political leaders.
States vary in their subsidies and federal support; therefore, community college leaders need to be well-versed on their own state opportunities and be prepared to advocate at the local, state, and federal levels for increase and support for apprenticeship programs. Political leaders will be appreciative of data-driven arguments. Data of importance may include labor market information, including employment projections and wage and salary data, sector strategy growth, as well as other relevant information that may assist in making the case. It would also be important to know and understand if the state in which your college is located is a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) or a federal Office of Apprenticeship (OA) run state. Each are very different and states policies vary in the SAA state programs.
Braided funding is also an important discussion with political leaders. One example might include how states can braid funding to support the expansion of apprenticeships; this could include funds from the state budget or tax credits to employers. Two states have established state funding systems to support expansion and support registered apprenticeship programs in their states. AACC through the ECCA initiative has researched these particular states—Kenucky and Indiana—and their stories are included as a promising practice below. In addition, AACC also has researched several other resources which are listed below to explore and assist community college leaders to expand apprenticeship programs. ECCA college testimonials are also listed to assist as a resource for community college leaders to reach out to for additional information from those colleges.
ECCA Successful Stories and Promising Practices
- State of Indiana Case Study (written by National Governors Association)
- State of Kentucky Case Study (written by the National Governors Association)
- Alabama Community Colleges
- Ivy Tech Community College (Indiana)
- Training Tomorrow’s Workforce Community College and Apprenticeship as Collaborative Routes to Rewarding Careers (Urban Institute)
- The Federal Resources Playbook for Registered Apprenticeships
- Apprenticeship Carolina
- An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Registered Apprenticeships in 10 States
- Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion Final Report to the President of the United States
- State Tuition Support and State Tax Credits – Several states cover the cost of apprenticeships, and in many states, businesses may qualify for state and or federal