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News and Information for Technical Educators

Department of Labor Announces $42.5 Million Youth Apprenticeship Funding Opportunity

On April 6, 2020, the Department of Labor announced the availability of $42.5 million in Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grants to support the enrollment of youth (16–24 years, in-and-out of school) apprentices into new or existing registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs).  The Department intends to fund approximately 15 to 25 youth apprenticeship readiness grants, with awards ranging from $1 million to $5 million.  The amount of grant funding an applicant can receive will depend on the proposed number of youth enrolled in RAPs.  Allowable activities under this grant include establishing or expanding existing RAPs for youth, pre-apprenticeship leading to a RAP, and wrap-around/supportive services that enable youth to participate and succeed in a pre-apprenticeship leading to a RAP.  Funds cannot be used to support industry-recognized apprenticeship programs.

As a critical step toward advancing high-quality RAPs in the United States, these funds will be awarded to the lead of a youth apprenticeship partnership that seeks to partner with business and industry to develop new RAPs or expand existing RAPs.  Through this grant program, partnerships will directly engage education entities, including traditional, alternative, and non-traditional schools, as well as programs that serve out-of-school youth, school boards, workforce boards, employers, workforce partners, and other apprenticeship intermediaries, to develop comprehensive approaches to establishing new apprenticeship models for youth or expanding existing apprenticeship programs for youth.

Eligible Applicants:  Eligible lead applicants for these grants are private nonprofit and for-profit, or public agencies and include education and training providers, workforce development system entities, organizations functioning as workforce intermediaries, and state agencies.

Program Goals:  This grant program will support apprenticeship expansion through the following six overarching goals:

  1. Increase awareness and adoption of the earn-and-learn apprenticeship model as a solution for experiential learning at the secondary education level.
  2. Increase parental, young adult, and employer awareness of the benefits of youth participation in RAPs, as well as their engagement in these models.
  3. Develop and expand the number of RAP opportunities for youth, ensuring they meet RAP standards and that pre-apprenticeship programs are of high quality and lead to a RAP.
  4. Increase academic and career-focused learning among youth, based on sound assessments, to increase employability in the labor force.
  5. Promote increased alignment between state education and workforce systems through the development of policies that facilitate the transition from school to a RAP.
  6. Increase RAP opportunities for all youth, particularly underrepresented populations (including women, people of color, ex-offenders, persons with disabilities), youth with barriers to employment, and out-of-school youth.

For additional information on this funding opportunity announcement, please see below.

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