Celebrate apprenticeships this week

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National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a week-long nationwide celebration highlighting the benefits of registered apprenticeships and their importance to prepare individuals for a high-demand skilled workforce.

This year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it will hold National Apprenticeship Week: Building Skills, Expanding Opportunity November 8-14.  

Registered apprenticeships are a work-based learning model that help workers earn an income while learning new skills that mutually support the individual, the employer and the economy. DOL established NAW to celebrate the impact apprenticeships have in helping Americans learn skills for jobs in growing industries. 

Industry partners

As one of the leading industry partners working with the American Association for Community Colleges (AACC), Lockheed Martin summarized the relationship with AACC and their championing of registered apprenticeships as a talent pool pipeline. 

“Lockheed Martin is proud to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week with our community colleges and other partners. We have prioritized the hands-on learning, mentoring and skilled training that comes with apprentice programs as an on-ramp to a myriad of quality Lockheed Martin positions. By working with the American Association of Community Colleges, Lockheed Martin has seen a direct impact in the talent pools coming from community colleges. We at Lockheed have committed to over 5,400 apprenticeship opportunities by 2023 and look forward to partnering with AACC on as many of those as possible,” said Jon Gustafson, HR economic development lead with Strategic Workforce Initiatives at Lockheed Martin. (Learn more about Lockheed Martin’s apprenticeship programs.)

Like Lockheed Martin, many of AACC’s members, partners and networks will host NAW events. In recognition of NAW through AACC’s Expanding Community College Apprenticeship (ECCA) Initiative, the association will highlight several member events. ECCA is working with 106 community colleges in 31 states and territories, and to date has already served more than 6,500 registered apprenticeships.

AACC is proud to share all the efforts that community college members and partners have accomplished as a result in the expansion of registered apprenticeships, which include an increase in diversity, a broader array of industry sectors and development across a wider geography. AACC will continue to champion this work-based learning strategy during a time when employment and upskilling are needed most.

Events at participating colleges

National Apprenticeship Week provides industries, community partners and educational institutions the opportunity to highlight their apprenticeship programs and apprentices. To learn more about National Apprenticeship Week 2020 and to register your program or event with U.S. DOL, check out its new apprenticeship site

A sampling of some of the ECCA events include:

  • Clark State Community College: Clark State is hosting an open panel discussion, applicable to all industry sectors. Information will cover the economic outlook and the workforce pipeline from regional, state and national levels. The college will also share how registered apprenticeships are a valuable recovery strategy. (Register)
  • Community College System of New Hampshire: This year, the Community College System of New Hampshire, in partnership with the ApprenticeshipNH program, will celebrate National Apprenticeship Week with two virtual events throughout the week. Each event will offer opportunities for employers, educators, community members and workforce development professionals to hear about apprenticeship initiatives underway throughout the Granite State. (Register)
  • IBM: Will host a panel discussion in partnership with Franklin Apprenticeships and Urban Institute on Nov 9 at 8:30 a.m. PST as part of its National Apprenticeship Week events. Learn more about this unique collaboration of experts coming together to help clients with their IBM Z skills and talent needs. (Register)
  • Kirkwood Community College: Kirkwood will host several events that will bring together businesses to discuss the past year’s successes and challenges with apprenticeships. It also will host an open workshop in partnership with IowaWorks, IWD state apprenticeship expansion opportunities and IDEA funding. (E-mail to reserve your spot.)
  • Laramie County Community College: Sponsored by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Laramie County Community College (LCCC) will join a virtual open house where participants will learn more about opportunities in the state related to registered apprenticeships. LCCC will also host an appreciation lunch and learn for several industry partners that sponsor registered apprenticeship programs in the county. (More information)
  • San Jacinto College and Houston Community College: In partnership with the Houston Area Apprenticeship Council, the two colleges will hold week-long virtual webinars daily from 1:00 – 2:30 pm CST to showcase their apprenticeship programs and partnerships. (Register)
  • Tarrant County College District: The college district will host a virtual apprenticeship fair to assist registered apprenticeships with job searches and programs, academic guidance, prior learning assessment, assistance with admission and many more opportunities. (More information)
  • Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology: WSU Tech this spring will launch a new registered apprenticeship program in industrial automation. The college has created a podcast/video to showcase this and to bring awareness to registered apprenticeships, in general. It will invite people to view this by advertising on LinkedIn and other social media channels during National Apprenticeship Week. (More information)

E-mail for more information about the ECCA Initiative.

About the Author

Anne Hoeltke
is executive director of apprenticeships at the American Association of Community Colleges.