Workforce boards and the Apprenticeship system share the same fundamental goals: they connect workers to economic opportunity while meeting the skill needs of employers in high-demand industries. Recent federal efforts are encouraging greater integration of the workforce and apprenticeship systems.
The National Association of Workforce Boards, in collaboration with Jobs for the Future, disseminated a survey in the summer of 2017 to better understand how workforce boards are engaging in apprenticeship and what challenges they face as they try to expand apprenticeship in their regions. This briefing details the key lessons learned from the workforce board respondents. First and foremost, apprenticeship is gaining ground among workforce boards. Nearly two-thirds of workforce board respondents are currently engaged in active apprenticeship programs, and four out of five have incorporated apprenticeship into their local, regional, or state workforce board plans. The key areas of both activity and concern among the workforce boards are employer engagement, recruitment of apprentices, administration and implementation processes, and funding. Apprenticeship is new territory for many boards, and additional resources and technical assistance will be key for continued growth.