Federal grant injects funding into local registered apprenticeship program


Thanks to a $3 million Apprenticeship Building America grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, the City’s Department of Workforce Development, located at the Missouri Job Center at 2900 E. Sunshine, has expanded its registered apprenticeship program to provide career pathways in five industries: public safety, manufacturing, IT, health care and education.

The apprenticeship program is available to anyone living in Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties.

Those interested in participating in the program are asked to apply at springfieldmo.gov/apprenticeships.

“Missouri ranks as one of the top states in the nation for registered apprenticeships in all industries. This grant will help us focus on five key areas that have been hit the hardest by labor shortages stemming from the pandemic,” said Ericka Schmeeckle, interim director of Workforce Development

The department was one of 39 organizations nationwide, and the only one in Missouri, to be awarded the grant funding last summer.

“The registered apprenticeship model has been widely successful in other sectors and we look to further expand opportunities through this grant,” Schmeeckle said.

In addition to participants, the department is seeking both public entities and private companies to offer registered apprenticeships. Interested organizations are asked to contact, Haley Sides at haley.sides@springfieldmo.gov or 417-841-3363.

What is a Registered Apprenticeship Program?

Registered Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally recognized credential.  Registered apprenticeships are industry-vetted and approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency.

RAPs enable and energize more employers to participate and provide them access to larger talent pools that have been trained for entry-level to management positions, thereby meeting industry demands and reducing unemployment rates across the country. 

Key elements of all registered apprenticeship programs include the following:

  • Industry led – Programs are industry-vetted and approved to ensure alignment with industry standards and that apprentices are trained for highly skilled, high-demand occupations.
  • Paid – Apprenticeships are jobs! Apprentices earn progressive wage as their skills and productivity increase.
  • Structured on-the learning/mentorship – Programs provide structured on-the-job training to prepare for a successful career, which includes instruction from an experienced mentor.
  • Supplemental education – Apprentices are provided supplemental classroom education based on the employers unique training needs to ensure quality and success.
  • Diversity – Programs are designed to reflect the communities in which they operate through strong non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and recruitment practices to ensure access, equity and inclusion.
  • Quality and safety – Apprentices are afforded worker protections while receiving rigorous training to equip them with the skills they need to succeed and the proper training and supervision they need to be safe.
  • Credentials – Apprentices earn a portable, nationally recognized credential within their industry.

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