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White House Hopes Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative Puts America Back to Work

White House Hopes Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative Puts America Back to Work

National network will expand and diversify program to create career pathways.
Companies across the U.S. hav been scrambling to find solid workers to fill slots vacated due to the Great Resignation. As a way to bolster current resources, companies have offered hybrid work schedules, raised pay scales, extended benefits, and utilized educational options as a way to keep current staff and lure new talent.

However, those tactics don’t seem to put a dent in the national unemployment problem. The unemployment rate has been hovering at about 3.7 percent, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not having the needed resources to run a company causes unnecessary financial burdens. Often when positions go unfilled for too long, the work is farmed out to outside vendors, divided among already overworked staffs, or removed from business offerings altogether. What companies need are real solutions.

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The Biden-Harris Administration hopes its recently launched Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative will be the stopgap this nation’s companies have sought.
The initiative is a national network of more than 200 companies and organizations in the U.S. committed to expanding and diversifying Registered Apprenticeship, which is a career pathway where employers can train their future workforce and individuals through an “earn-to-learn” experience.

Registered Apprenticeship is a nationally recognized program where industry-vetted positions have been approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency. This program aids companies in hiring a more diverse workforce and provides workers with the needed upskilling experience that clears a path for them to obtain good-paying jobs.

Currently, there are Registered Apprenticeship in more than 40 in-demand industries including mechanical engineering. Through the Ambassador Initiative, companies connected with Registered Apprenticeship have committed to expanding their offerings over the next year by creating 460 new programs.

This also includes hiring more than 10,000 new apprentices and “holding 5,000 outreach, promotional, and training events to help other business, labor, and education leaders launch similar programs,” a White House press release stated.

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In addition, Ambassadors will push to increase access of the Registered Apprenticeship to underserved populations including women, BIPOC communities, rural communities, people with arrest or conviction records, and those with disabilities.

Companies like IBM and Siemens are already leveraging their established apprenticeship programs to cover cybersecurity, software development, data science, design, manufacturing, and engineering. Siemens has even launched its own Electric Vehicle Charging Registered Apprenticeship program at its manufacturing hub in North Carolina. This is in line with the recent launch of a national electric vehicle charging network the White House has pledged $5 billion over the next five years to build.
Higher education institutions like Wake Technical Community College in North Carolina, Trident Technical College in South Carolina, and Prairie View A&M University in Texas are partnering with local companies to help their students launch careers faster than ever before.

So far, recent White House efforts have already garnered more than 4,000 Registered Apprenticeship programs, added 6,700 new company partners, and led to helping more than one million apprentices obtain work. Currently, the White House touts that 93 percent of workers who finish the Registered Apprenticeship programs earn the average beginning wage of $77,000.

For more information about the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative or Registered Apprenticeship, visit
Nichole M. Palmer is an independent writer in Petersburg, Va.

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