The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is making available $42.5 million in Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grants to support youth apprentices in registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs).
“These apprenticeship grants offer communities the opportunity to make targeted investments today that will fuel future economic growth, by enabling young people to earn a living while learning critical job skills at the same time,” Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said in a press release.
The department’s Employment and Training Administration, which is managing the program, intends to fund 15 to 25 grants, with awards ranging from $1 million to $5 million. The amount of grant funding will depend on the proposed number of youths enrolled in registered apprenticeship programs. The program aims to serve in-school and out-of-school youths ages 16 to 24.
The youth apprenticeship program provides another pathway toward successful careers, said John Pallasch, the department’s assistant secretary for employment and training.
“For too long, higher education was seen as the only path, but we know that’s not the only or best choice for many young adults,” he said in a statement. “This investment in youth apprenticeship is key to helping broaden understanding of career options, and to giving these young adults an on-ramp to apprenticeship.”
DOL said the grant program supports the president’s effort to expand access to youth apprenticeships, promote pre-apprenticeship programs and develop a strong youth apprenticeship pipeline.
Funds will go to the lead entity of a youth apprenticeship partnership that seeks to team with business and industry to develop new RAPs or expand existing RAPs, according to the department. Specifically, the funds will support training of underrepresented youths for apprenticeships in new and non-traditional occupations or expanded apprenticeship programs.
Through the program, the partnership will engage educational 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 youths or expanding existing apprenticeship programs for youths.
The deadline to apply is May 6.