Authors: Nanette Goodman, Nick Canfield and Michael Morris
Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University
The Build Back Better Act (H.R 5376) includes $5 billion to create and expand apprenticeship programs. This historic investment comes on the heels of over $950 million of federal grants targeted for this purpose in the last five years and a growing commitment among federal agencies, state governments, local policy makers, and employers to expand apprenticeship opportunities.
Apprenticeships can bridge the gap between the skills of jobseekers and the demands of employers by combining on-the-job training, mentorship, and classroom instruction with a paycheck. During this time of growing income inequality and technological change, apprenticeships can address the needs of all stakeholders. For apprentices, apprenticeships are an entry point to a highly skilled job that pays well without a college degree. For employers, they can be a strategy to develop a pipeline of skilled employees. For policy makers, they can address the job training needs of marginalized groups who may otherwise be disconnected from the labor force and consequently address historic income inequality.