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$200,000 for apprenticeship program in Virginia

Staff writer |
The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $200,000 Apprenticeship USA State Accelerator Grant to Virginia to expand apprenticeships.

The funding constitutes the first phase of $90 million in new federal grants, which aim to double the number of apprenticeships in the country by 2019.

The new federal investment aspires to accelerate apprenticeships by increasing outreach to employers to start new apprenticeship programs, engaging industry and other partners to expand apprenticeships in non-traditional industry sectors, such as Cybersecurity and Information Technology, and increasing the number and percentage of women and minorities participating in apprenticeships.

The grant program also intends to integrate apprenticeships into education and workforce development systems, such as high school career and technical education, community colleges and Virginia’s One Stop Career Centers.

“Securing federal dollars for Virginia’s apprenticeship program is an excellent step in building comprehensive training programs that prepare our workforce for high-tech, 21st century jobs,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe.

“For every dollar spent, apprenticeships bring a $1.47 return for an employer, which is a very attractive incentive in bringing new businesses to the Commonwealth. Ensuring companies in Virginia have a world-class workforce is an essential step in building a competitive, new Virginia economy.”

In August 2014, Governor McAuliffe committed to seeing Virginians attain more than 50,000 STEM-H credentials by the end of his administration, and more than 460,000 workforce credentials a year by 2030, in order to close the skills gap in trades and technician level jobs.

In addition to being universally recognized, apprenticeship credentials are one of the types of credentials that “count” towards the Governor’s goals.