Truckee Meadows Community College, NV – promising practices in SAA States
Ten tips for working well with your State Apprenticeship Agency
- Hold an introductory conference call with your SAA staff (even if it is long overdue). Repeat this general call annually, to maintain connections and ensure contact and process information is up to date. Learn about developments at the state level. Offer to join your support with the SAA’s for apprenticeship-friendly legislation or policy changes.
- Your programs may be different from those generally handled by the SAA (our non-join programs across multiple industry sectors make up a small proportion of the state’s apprenticeships which are primarily construction union programs). Take note of how programmatic differences may impact the SAA’s work (for example, using pre-printed state certificates of apprenticeship that have union-titled signature lines, or when compiling apprentice data requested by external agencies). Take the initiative for communicating reminders and information to lessen any operational challenges or special attention for your programs.
- Align your terminology with theirs, especially noting how common functions are described (when registering apprentices, adding occupations for employers, getting new occupations approved within your standards, and so on).
- Remember that the SAA’s role is different from yours. Prepare your communications with the SAA staff with this awareness in mind. Anticipate possible questions and plan ways to attain the needed clarification.
- Do your own work thoroughly and well. Establish credibility by handling the routine things superbly. Maintain good records.
- Consider how to make your requests efficient, with the needed documents or information at the SAA staffer’s fingertips. Ensure your email subject lines and attachment file names are clear and distinguishable, keeping same functions together but not putting disparate requests into single emails.
- Be aware of the SAA calendar of meetings and timelines for review and approvals.
Pace your work to allow for communications and questions that may follow submittals. Consider attending a SAA/Council meeting one or two times per year, even if you do not have business on the agenda.
- If you aren’t sure of how the SAA is handling a matter, seek clarification in advance.
- Have at least one go-to person on your staff who is charged with having deep knowledge of and successful relations with the SAA.
- Be generous with thanks, share good news stories, and be gracious during difficulties.
Wallace State Community College, AL – promising practices in SAA States
- Become familiar with the staff at your State Administrative Agency (Alabama Office of Apprenticeship in this case) and understand who does what. This includes the Director, Operations Manager, Statewide Project Manager and Project Managers for each Region that your college currently serves students in.– Wallace State Community College is in Alabama’s Region 1. The contacts at the college and the Region 1 Project manager have each other’s email address, office and mobile numbers.
- During initial introductions, invite your Project Managers to visit your college campus to learn about all of the programs your college offers. This makes it easier for them to talk about Related Technical Instruction (RTI) options with employers. Also, be sure the Project Managers know who the staff is in your Career Services department and what career-related support is available to students.
- The college and the Region 1 Project Manager both use the Urban Institute work process resources as a reference guide when researching Work Process Schedules. This way we are both using the same terminology when speaking with prospective employers about Registered Apprenticeships.
- The Region 1 Project Manager is copied on any communication with business/industry that may result in a Registered Apprenticeship. This keeps the SAA office in the loop and allows the college to formally introduce employers to the SAA contacts as well.
- The college and the Region 1 Project Manager work closely (as a team) with the Business Service Representatives (BSRs) at local Career Centers to leverage WIOA/ITA and OJT funding.
- The college and the Region 1 Project Manager go together (as a team) when visiting industry and speaking about Registered Apprenticeships. This cuts back on the number of in-person meetings needed and shows employers that we work together as a unit.
- The Region 1 Project Manager is always invited to attend events on campus if it involves meeting with business and industry or marketing Registered Apprenticeships.