I have had a great opportunity to travel across the country to provide employers and workforce leaders technical assistance in developing apprenticeships. From a more traditional field like manufacturing to emerging fields like IT and healthcare, I have been able to see firsthand the appetite for apprenticeships across the country. There has been renewed energy and vigor from employers, workforce leaders, educators, and government leaders to expand apprenticeship opportunities as the labor market grows tighter.
Our partners at the Dan River Region Collaborative have been at the forefront of this effort in Southern Virginia. They are convening local employers and engaging with state leaders to begin building a pipeline for apprenticeship for the region. As part of this process, I was pleased to have accompanied a coalition from Dan River on a fact-finding trip to the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School. The trip was extremely impactful, and participants left with an improved sense of direction for the development of apprenticeship programs in the region.
The Dan River Region Collaborative is headed on another fact-finding trip in their quest to develop regional apprenticeship programs. This time though, we’re headed international!
At the end of July, I will be accompanying the Dan River Region Collaborative as we travel to Germany to learn from the experts. Apprenticeships are ingrained in the German culture. Students going into high school can choose an education track that culminates in an apprenticeship after high school, guaranteeing them real-world skills and hands-on experience. We will be touring some advanced manufacturing facilities, as well as an apprenticeship school to learn from the German model. We hope to return to the states with an improved vision for what apprenticeship programs can be, and begin the process of training the workforce of the future!
Follow our trip to Germany by following #NationalFundInGermany on social media!