Sustainable apprenticeships play a critical role in building a large-scale American apprenticeship system, and ultimately contribute to a robust and diversified American workforce. One approach to sustainability and quality is the creation of employer consortia, or groups of employers. For employers, consortia offer cost-effective mechanisms for developing apprenticeships into an enduring talent development strategy. 

For apprentices, they offer rigorous, high-quality career pathways that start with work experience and occupational skills and lead to rewarding careers. For educators (or educational institutions), they offer sufficient scale and close connection between the academic content of apprenticeships and current and future employer needs. While registered apprenticeship programs have operated for more than 80 years in the United States, the effort to create new apprenticeship models has taken on new energy in recent years. In addition, emphasis on youth participation in apprenticeships has increased. Success in expanding the scale and scope of apprenticeships in the US will require attracting large numbers of employers to create programs and offer apprenticeships. In this brief, we examine the success of a sustainable industry consortium model that has been replicated in a number of US communities.