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Practices & Centers

Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning

Expanding and creating access to high-quality apprenticeship and work-based learning.
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We empower delivery of high-quality, equitable apprenticeship and work-based learning opportunities.

Apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and work-based learning are proven models for supporting economic advancement for workers, but many employers struggle to implement high-quality programs. And despite significant growth in recent years, equity gaps persist.

Jobs for the Future’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning is a leader in expanding these proven models to new industries and professions. By supporting system and program designs, we connect a diverse population of youth and adults to quality jobs and enable businesses to develop workers with the skills they need to grow.

Key Initiatives

Scaling Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning

We reach new industries and more workers facing barriers to advancement by designing and launching high-quality apprenticeship and work-based learning programs. 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeship

We build DEIA into apprenticeship systems and program delivery, advocate for policies that center employer accountability, and offer resources for program design.

Promoting Youth Apprenticeship

By partnering with a diverse network of providers, we create innovative models to engage students, youth not attending school, and underemployed young adults.

News & Ideas

Promising Approaches for Connecting Opportunity Youth to Registered Apprenticeships

Learn promising practices in building and growing successful apprenticeship programs for opportunity youth.

Framework for a High-Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program: IT

This pre-apprenticeship framework outlines the six key characteristics of a high-quality pre-apprenticeship program with a focus on the IT industry.

JFF’s National Innovation Hub for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeship

Registered Apprenticeship has a proven track record of producing strong results for workers and employers.

Featured Projects

Next-Generation Apprenticeship for Next-Generation Talent

JFF is expanding access to pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship by preparing 1,000 young people ages 16-24 for participation in these programs by 2026. 

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Improving Diversity and Equity in Apprenticeships for Manufacturing

Over the next 5 years, JFF will work to provide apprenticeship opportunities in manufacturing to nearly 2,000 women and people of color.

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Next-Generation Apprenticeship for Next-Generation Talent

By 2026, JFF aims to prepare 1,000 young people for entry into pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship programs, with an emphasis on those from populations that are underrepresented in Registered Apprenticeship.

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Impact Stories

JFF Drives Talent Growth for John Deere

JFF partnered with John Deere to build and deliver a national apprenticeship program for agriculture and equipment technicians and heavy construction equipment mechanics.

JFF's Program Design Framework for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeship

We offer employers and Registered Apprenticeship sponsors field-informed program design elements and considerations for building systems, processes, partnerships, and practices.

Making Work-Based Learning Work

Work-based learning helps alleviate a common issue for jobseekers: meeting a "relevant work experience" prerequisite that is hard to gain outside of the workplace.


Team

Patrick Combs

Vice President

Patrick Combs is vice president of the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning at JFF. He leads the development, scaling, and promotion of effective programs that lead to equitable economic advancement. His skills and areas…

Vanessa Bennett

Director

Vanessa Bennett is a director at the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning at JFF. She works to drive equity, inclusion, and access to the workforce for workers and learners from underrepresented populations through policy and…

Krysti Specht

Director

Krysti Specht is a director in the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning at JFF, supporting the national expansion of innovative practices that connect education and employment. Her skills and areas of expertise include: Work-based…

Myriam Sullivan

Senior Director

Myriam Sullivan is a senior director in the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning at JFF. She works to advance career pathways for populations who are underrepresented in high-demand sectors of the economy. Her work…

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The Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning and our network of expert partners are available to help you learn about apprenticeship, build new programs, improve diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility practices, and more. Contact us to learn more about how you can partner with us or support our work, and subscribe for updates.