FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 13, 2018) – The U.S. Dept. of Labor (USDOL) has announced that the Kentucky Labor Cabinet has been awarded $1,085,871 under the ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant Initiative to continue efforts to grow Registered Apprenticeships throughout the commonwealth.
“Receiving this funding is a testament to the success we’ve had expanding Registered Apprenticeships across the state and countless opportunities that lie ahead of us,” Deputy Secretary Mike Nemes said. “We have seen tremendous growth in the awareness of apprenticeships, and in time, an unprecedented amount of engagement from business leaders who are seeking ways to implement this training model. For Kentucky to fully realize itself as the engineering and manufacturing hub of excellence in North America, we must continue to look for ways to expand apprenticeships to new locations, industries, and within all populations of our workforce. With this funding, we will continue to achieve important milestones while providing a new trajectory for Kentucky’s workforce.”
The purpose of this round of funding is to enable Kentucky to establish and grow “intermediaries,” or third-party organizations to better connect apprentices with employers; engage employers new to the state or new to Registered Apprenticeships; compensate businesses for expenses related to required training instruction; and, to diversify the pool of apprentices in Kentucky.
The Labor Cabinet has received two prior awards from the USDOL, including the Accelerator Planning Grant and the $896,000 AppreinticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant, together totaling in excess of $1 million. This funding has allowed the Office of Registered Apprenticeship to:
• Increase the number of businesses offering Registered Apprenticeships by over 50 percent;
• Increase the number and diversity of apprentices working in the commonwealth’s businesses and industries statewide;
• Diversify the sectors and occupations available to apprentices, thereby modernizing a skilled workforce pipeline necessary for a thriving, competitive economy;
• Work with the Personnel Cabinet to create apprentice positions available to state government agencies;
• Develop a range of local, state, national and international partnerships, ensuring innovative workforce models meet the needs of an increasingly global economy;
• Launch cutting-edge IT programs in areas impacted by loss of jobs in the coal mine industry; and,
• Convene the largest event devoted to apprenticeship in the commonwealth’s history.
The ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant Initiative was launched by the USDOL in April of 2016 by awarding 37 participating states over $50.5 million in grant awards to increase the number apprentices in numerous underrepresented populations, including: women, minorities, 16-24 year olds, individuals age 45-plus or older, veterans, and people with disabilities. In addition to targeting growth within these groups, this initiative encourages states to target the healthcare, construction, transportation and logistics, energy, manufacturing, and information and communications technology sectors.
Currently, there are over 3,000 apprentices in Kentucky in nearly 240 different programs and in 109 different occupations. Last month, the Labor Cabinet joined Gov. Bevin, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Personnel Cabinet, and the Dept. of Education to announce the first apprenticeship for state-employed social service workers in the country.
Later this year, the Labor Cabinet will host the second annual Kentucky Registered Apprenticeship Summit in Louisville from September 10-12. The goal of the summit is to bring together apprenticeship stakeholders with business, education and civic leaders from across the commonwealth to discuss ways to grow and improve apprenticeships in Kentucky. It is the state’s largest gathering for those interesting in learning more about apprenticeships, and registration information can be found here.