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THE. APPRENTICESHIP. ADVANTAGE. Strategic Partnerships between Washington’s Apprenticeship and Workforce Development Systems. THE STRATEGIC APPRENTICESHIP ADVANTAGE.

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Strategic Partnerships between Washington’s Apprenticeship and Workforce Development Systems




  • Apprenticeship is a strategic economic growth tool in Washington’s Comprehensive Plan for Workforce Development (High Skills High Wages)
  • A win-win proposition – Workforce Development partners are realizing that Apprenticeship helps the state achieve it’s policy goals.
  • Word is getting out: Apprenticeship is the Nordstrom’s of talent development


  • Partnership building, public policy efforts and funding investments have made a difference
  • 2003 Investment of Governor’s WIA 10% funding
  • Apprenticeship Utilization requirements
  • Running Start to the Trades for secondary pre-apprenticeship
  • Community College Growth funding
strategy for partnering with workforce partners
Strategy for partnering with Workforce partners

First, find and meet the people in charge, and build a relationship.

Show up, be nice, and keep showing up!

Second, explain what apprenticeship is and why it is important.

Especially the data supporting the outstanding workforce outcomes brought by apprenticeship

Third, challenge stereotypes and dispel myths.




Apprenticeship is an amazing talent development tool

Blue collar, white collar, green collar — apprenticeship is a good fit for most occupations

Competency-based education that pays, and staff that are eager to build successes.


Apprenticeship equals dead-end trades jobs.

Blue Collar careers are the only apprenticeship option

Complicated and takes too much time, not worth the effort.


how do you get workforce partners to come to the table
How do you get workforce partners to come to the table?

Focus on the results that matter to them:

Putting people to work (especially certain people)

Getting people into training

Increasing economic vitality of industry partners

Explain how the partnership can be mutually beneficial.

They have people looking for work and/or skills training; you are looking for people to go to work and get trained.

They are looking to boost key industry clusters



  • Success begets success - Workforce partners respond well to data that shows the benefits of apprenticeship
  • Certain data has turned heads of workforce partners toward Apprenticeship in Washington State.
    • Growth
    • Money
    • Comparative analysis
    • Net benefits to the system

In Washington State

why the dramatic increase
Why the dramatic increase?

The large public investment in infrastructure (roads, buildings, energy, etc) that have come from a few year's worth of good economic climates and the increase in commercial/industrial building efforts

Coupled with the accumulative effect of many state and local the apprenticeship utilization requirements. These are laws that require 15 – 20% of total labor hours on a project to come from registered apprentices

And the departure/retirements of many Baby Boom age workers in the building/construction workforce.

apprentices make as much money as college graduates
Apprentices make as much money as college graduates

Source: US census wage data and WA State Workforce Board report “Workforce Training Results 2006”

apprentices make more money than completers of other workforce training programs
Apprentices make more money than completers of other workforce training programs

Source: WTECB Workforce Results 2006

These programs serve different populations and use a different mix of training and direct job placement strategies, so direct comparisons are not valid.

benefit analysis of wa workforce programs
Benefit Analysis of WA Workforce Programs

Participant benefits are comprised of earnings (minus taxes) and employee benefits and “transfers”. Transfers include UI, TANF, Food Stamps, and medical benefits. For this measure all benefits are forecasts based upon individual earnings to age 65.

Costs include foregone earnings, and program costs (tuition, etc.)

Net Benefit = All benefits – all costs.

All data from the 2006 Workforce Training Results study.

steps you can take next week
Steps you can take next week…

TEGL and donuts: Go meet your local WIB director and OneStop management and staff.

Be prepared to commit your time!

Advisory committees, partnership boards, other committees.

Knowledge is power: The more you know about them, the more you benefit from the system.

Offer to conduct Apprenticeship training for One Stop Staff and WDC/WIB participants and partners

How to make quality referrals to apprenticeship

They have little budget for training, and love to do partner events

Create WIA Training for Apprenticeship staff

Look into getting your apprenticeship programs onto the Eligible Training Provider List

Expand the local and state policy discussion around the TEGL

Explore ways to count apprenticeship toward local and statewide WIA Performance Measures

Stepsyou can take next month…

beyond workforce development building the k 12 pipeline to apprenticeship
Beyond Workforce Development: Building the K-12 pipeline to apprenticeship

After they see the positive outcomes, many schools are eager to create connections with local apprenticeship programs, preparing students specifically for these opportunities.

As they do this, they teach the skills that are elemental to the State Exam and prepare kids for specific occupations and apprenticeships.

Explain the skills you need: Generally, the most important skills to apprenticeship are demonstrated competency in applying math, reasoning and work readiness.

Navigation 101 – Integrate apprenticeship into career guidance in Washington’s education system, grades 6 – 12.



Washington State Department

of Labor & Industries Website


Thank You!Elizabeth SmithProgram ManagerWashington State Department of Labor & Industries Office of ApprenticeshipSMEL235@LNI.wa.gov360.902.5320