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Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: Results from a National Survey. Working Poor Families Project Meeting Chicago, IL June 11, 2009. Survey Respondents. 260 ‘pre-apprenticeship’ programs responded From 40 states, DC and PR

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Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: Results from a National Survey

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construction pre apprenticeship programs results from a national survey

Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Programs:Results from a National Survey

Working Poor Families Project Meeting

Chicago, IL

June 11, 2009

survey respondents
Survey Respondents
  • 260 ‘pre-apprenticeship’ programs responded
  • From 40 states, DC and PR
  • Most common org type among respondents was non-profit/CBO followed by comm/tech/trade college
  • 80% of respondents reported working with partners (biz/union reps, schools, gov’t agencies and other non-profits)
  • Wide range in age and size of programs responding
who were we trying to reach
Who Were We Trying to Reach?
  • Anyone preparing/connecting individuals not currently working in construction to construction jobs
    • Many respondents did not seem well connected to apprenticeship system
    • Penetration rate of apprenticeship programs unknown (USDOL Office of Apprenticeship), but likely varies by market segment and geographically
  • We use ‘pre-apprenticeship’ as short-hand term, but not all respondents would describe themselves as pre-apprenticeship programs
opportunities targeted
Opportunities Targeted
  • Programs connect individuals to a wide variety of occupations—19+ occupations, carpenters, laborers, electricians most commonly mentioned by programs
  • Target a range of market segments—~70% target commercial and 50+% target residential; less in industrial, heavy & hgwy, institutional
  • Programs commonly report working with both union and non-union companies
  • Relatively few programs seem to be connecting their participants to registered apprenticeships
program services
Program Services
  • Programs report providing a range of introductory information, training, support and placement services
  • 88% of respondents reported providing training services--vocational components offered at a relatively high rate
  • Support and placement services were offered at a much lower rate than training services
  • Some indication that “traditional workforce” organizations more likely to provide supports than union, industry or education institutions
participants served
Participants Served
  • Respondents reported a wide range of program sizes -- with a median of 54 and average of 122 participants served
  • Roughly half of respondents reported designing services for individuals who might face barriers in the industry
  • About 3/4 indicate screening for ability level, but only 1/3 indicate requiring a H.S. degree or GED
  • Other screens used include drug use, drivers license, legal status, reliable transportation, physical aptitude, criminal records history
tailored programs vs designed for a general population
Tailored Programs vs. Designed for a General Population
  • Tailored offer more robust set of supports, although curriculum content areas similar
  • Tailored less likely to connect to union or registered apprenticeship
  • Tailored more likely to accept individuals with low skill levels
  • Tailored more likely to report finance, industry, policy and operational challenges, for a variety of potential reasons
targeted vs gen l pop programs
Targeted vs. Gen’l Pop Programs

Programs Serving Gen'l Pop

green program elements
Green Program Elements
  • 120 respondents answered a question asking about green program elements
  • Most common activity included in answer was weatherization, cited by 42 respondents
  • 21 respondents noted that they have curriculum in development
  • Renewable energy: 21 solar; 6 wind; 1 geothermal
  • Many noted ‘green’ is a long-standing aspect of construction work -- from proper insulation to low-flow water to recycling building materials
outcomes reported
Outcomes Reported
  • Programs report reasonably high training completion rates
  • Job placement is a challenge
  • Placement in registered apprenticeship programs is low; some programs do not work with registered apprenticeship
  • Data regarding outcomes is likely of uneven quality across programs
  • Post-program completion services are limited
  • Respondents’ budgets ranged widely
  • Public money was most commonly used and also most commonly mentioned as largest source of funding
  • < 20% of respondents receive no public funds
  • > 70% report no student funds; ~50% report no biz funds; nearly 60% report no philanthropic funds
  • In-kind sources used by nearly half of respondents
  • Consistent funding year to year and current funding environment cited as challenges
  • ‘Pre-apprenticeship’ programs widespread-geographically, by market segment, occupationally
    • Programs well-positioned and eager to train for ‘green’ jobs
  • Pre-apprenticeship programs serve populations that face barriers in construction, but access to supportive services uneven across programs
  • Pre-apprenticeship challenged in connecting to industry, and even apprenticeship programs struggle in forecasting labor demand
    • However, programs report there is demand
  • Picture of skill levels that vary widely, both upon entry, and likely upon exit
    • Data on program length difficult to interpret
  • Public sector major funder of programs—and often major purchaser of services
further questions
Further Questions
  • Can public sector help improve forecasting demand—through LMI resources or through role as buyer/investor?
  • Should pre-apprenticeship programs develop more standards? What would that look like in light of industry variability?
    • What can we learn from “high performers” (e.g. those with high job placement and targeted?; those with high apprenticeship connection & supports?)
  • So few connections to apprenticeship, and yet it plays key skill development role for industry—how can that aspect be strengthened?
for more information
For More Information

Maureen Conway / Allison Gerber

Workforce Strategies Initiative

The Aspen Institute