The U.S. Department of Labor Tuesday announced the availability of approximately $87.5 million for grants to expand Registered Apprenticeships across the nation, with up to $40 million of those funds in grants awarded to states that implement required diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and demonstrate their commitment to adopt, expand and promote these efforts.
States can apply for State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation Grants ranging from $2 million to $10 million based on state-specific capacity and needs. The grants will build on the Executive Order signed by President Biden on strengthening Registered Apprenticeship. States are our critical partners in expanding and modernizing Registered Apprenticeships while ensuring that these valuable opportunities are available to all Americans.
“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to building back better while ensuring equity and access for everyone in this country,” said Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Labor Patricia Smith. “These grants will allow the federal government to work with states to provide new avenues of opportunity to America’s workers by expanding Registered Apprenticeship programs.”
The goal of the SAEEI grant program is provide states with the flexibility to meet specific industry needs and demands. Collectively, these efforts will aim to achieve the following goals:
- Expand systems to support the development, modernization, and diversification of RAPs,
- Improve partnership and alignment to support workforce system integration.
- Increase the number of apprentices enrolled in RAPs, including underrepresented populations.
- Promote innovation in program development and recruitment strategies.
“The emphasis placed on equity in these funding opportunities is a win for communities that are underrepresented in Registered Apprenticeships, businesses that employ apprentices and our nation,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Suzi Levine. “We know for a fact that the private sector is at its most innovative, and the economy at its strongest when we tap into the talents of diverse communities.”
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the SAEEI grant program continues the department’s efforts to expand RAPs with states as key facilitators. These resources will enable governors to support strategic RAP functions and increase the system’s capacity to create new RAPs while also driving system reform.
To ensure the federal investment in RAP expansion has as broad of an impact as possible, applicants must propose innovative strategies to support efforts to expand and modernize apprenticeship, particularly around program development and recruitment strategies. States will also need to take into consideration the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and other events affecting local economies within their borders in addressing the needs of the current skills gap.
Learn more about how to apply for funding. Read more about the department’s broader efforts to connect career seekers with apprenticeship opportunities and expand apprenticeship into new sectors and industries.