Expanding Apprenticeship to Opportunity Youth

Since 2019, JFF has enrolled more than 100 opportunity youth into apprenticeship programs and started a cohort of 15 programs across the country.


U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship


June 2019 – June 2022

Target Population

Opportunity Youth



Key Partners

  • Social Policy Research Associates (SPR)
  • National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB)
  • District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund (1199C)
  • Center for Rural Strategies (CRS)

Key Objectives

Enroll 700 Opportunity Youth into a Registered Apprenticeship pathway

Learn More About Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning for Opportunity Youth

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With the support of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Expansion and Modernization Fund, JFF is increasing access to Registered Apprenticeship programs for opportunity youth—young adults ages 16 to 24 who do not have connections to school or employment.

JFF is building these connections by:

  • Building the capacity of youth-serving organizations, workforce development boards, communities, employers, and others
  • Supporting the expansion of pre-apprenticeships that lead to Registered Apprenticeship programs
  • Establishing a nationwide network of training and technical assistance providers to support prospective and current Registered Apprenticeship sponsors, intermediaries, and other stakeholders

As a crucial part of this work, JFF is providing intensive, hands-on support to 15 organizations across the country.

This network is comprised of workforce development boards and community-based organizations that are members of of the Aspen Opportunity Youth Forum and JFF's Young Adult Talent Development Network:

  • Midwest: Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (Taylor, MI)
  • Northeast: Capital Workforce Partners (Hartford, CT), The Corps Network (Washington, DC), Cutler Institute’s Youth and Community Engagement program (Portland, ME), JEVS Human Services (Philadelphia), Philadelphia Youth Network (Philadelphia)
  • Southeast: Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee (Nashville), Goodwill of North Georgia (Decatur, GA), Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board (Harrisonburg, VA), United Way of Greater Atlanta (Atlanta)
  • Southwest: Jasper Independent School District, on behalf of the Deep East Texas College and Career Alliance (Jasper, TX)
  • West: The Adams County Workforce and Business Center (Westminster, CO), FareStart (Seattle), Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (Seattle), Worksystems (Portland, OR)

Visit JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning

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Project Progress

Since the project launched in June 2019, JFF has registered more than 400 opportunity youth apprentices with several organizations, including the Virginia L. Grant Foundation, Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake (IEC), Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Communities in Schools of Philadelphia, Construction Laborers Training Center, and Construction Careers Foundation.

JFF also registered six apprenticeship programs with the Loop Lab, Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation, and Goodwill of North Georgia.

Implications of COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, JFF has worked collaboratively with our network of sites and our partners to respond to challenges and develop strategies to keep opportunity youth engaged in training. We have supported our sites in their efforts to transition work-based learning to virtual settings, design new pathways to Registered Apprenticeship, and deal with staff cuts and budget shortfalls.

Employer Spotlight: Anthem and United Way Greater Atlanta

As part of our work to create new training opportunities for young adults who are disconnected from school and the labor market, JFF is supporting the partnership of United Way of Greater Atlanta and health care company Anthem Inc., whose Atlanta office runs an IT apprenticeship program for young people who are aging out of foster care.

Using incentive funds from the project, Anthem and United Way were able to support 14 opportunity youth apprentices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspired by the success of the apprenticeship and partnership in Atlanta, Anthem is committed to expanding the program throughout Georgia and to other Anthem sites across the country.

Work With Us

Find out more about partnering with JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning