Apprenticeship is an earn-while-you-learn training model in which YouthBuild graduates can gain valuable work experience while receiving related technical instruction. Apprenticeships may last from one to six years.

For each year of apprenticeship, the apprentice normally receives 2,000 hours of on-the-job-training and a recommended minimum of 144 hours of related classroom instruction. There are over 1,000 apprentice-able occupations. Although apprenticeships are heavily utilized in the construction industry, the expansion of apprenticeship into other industries has been underscored by President Trump’s Executive Order of June 15, 2017, which named manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity, and health care as areas in which to increase apprenticeship opportunities.

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Department of Labor-Only Final Rule           § 688.120, YouthBuild programs funded by the Department of Labor are considered pre-apprenticeship programs. The Final Rule further defines pre-apprenticeship programs as those providing the following important elements:

  • Approved training and curriculum that aligns with the skill needs of employers;
  • Access to appropriate supportive services;
  • Meaningful hands-on learning activities that are connected to education and training activities;
  • Opportunities to attain at least one industry-recognized credential; and
  • A partnership with one or more Registered Apprenticeship programs that assists with placing individuals into Registered Apprenticeships.

Partnerships with local workforce development agencies support graduate pathways into registered apprenticeship training. This is a mutually beneficial relationship: At least seventy-five percent of youth formula funding to states under WIOA provides employment and training support to out-of-school youth, and YouthBuild provides workforce agencies with broader access to this group in a pre-apprenticeship setting. Workforce development agencies can provide support services that can help participants who are transitioning out of YouthBuild and into apprenticeship training. They can also provide access to employers, trade associations, and labor management organizations that sponsor registered apprenticeship programs. 

Additionally, many technical assistance efforts are underway to better assist YouthBuild grantees to connect with Apprenticeship sponsors, not just in construction fields but in many diverse industries.  These include a state Office of Apprenticeship pilot in Georgia to helps grantees better leverage state- and local-level apprenticeship relationships, a Los Angeles Collaborative that has demonstrated that there is strength in numbers, and a Jobs for the Future Construction Plus pre-apprenticeship pilot learning community.  More information on these resources is available on the Community of Practice currently or is coming soon.

Our November 7, 2017 webinar, 
YouthBuild and Workforce Development Agencies Promote Pathways to Apprenticeship,” provided local examples of how Workforce Development Agencies partner with YouthBuild grantees to support participants entering RA pathways.  Webinar presenters included staff from YouthBuild grantee organizations and the staff from Workforce Development Agencies who work with them.  Please click the link above to view the archived recording.

Related Resources

DOL YouthBuild Registered Apprenticeship Resource Guide

Implementing Building Trades Multi-Craft Core Curriculum Webcasts

Leadership in the Trades

DOL YouthBuild Registered Apprenticeship Toolkit

Atlanta Partnership Development Update: YouthBuild and Apprenticeship Sponsors in Construction

For more, including a success story, click here for the November 2017 DOL YouthBuild Newsletter