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b. 2. Registered Apprenticeship

Describe how the State will incorporate Registered Apprenticeship into its strategy for service design and delivery (e.g., job center staff taking applications and conducting assessments).

Current Narrative:

Idaho was one of six states selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to participate in an apprenticeship initiative providing customized technical assistance support from experienced apprenticeship coaches. The State’s apprenticeship development team, composed of workforce, apprenticeship, education, and other key partners, was formed in 2016 to take full advantage of this opportunity to support strategies to integrate apprenticeship as a sustainable solution under WIOA.

Initial project strategies included:

  • Launch a renewed apprenticeship effort concentrating on one high growth occupation/industry; provide a positive model for expansion
  • Pursue a local area focus first, then expand and strengthen to a statewide strategy
  • Lean on USDOL technical assistance and Office of Apprenticeship for guidance, innovation and successful strategies from other states
  • Integrate apprenticeships into Idaho’s career pathways and industry sector strategies

Since the initial submission of its WIOA Combined State Plan, the state’s apprenticeship effort, identified as ApprenticeshipIdaho, has made significant progress increasing apprenticeships across the state. Led by the Idaho Department of Labor, ApprenticeshipIdaho major partners include the U.S. Department of Labor’s Regional Office of Registered Apprenticeship and the Idaho Career & Technical Education, which administers the Carl D. Perkins programs. Representatives from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare representing Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are also engaged in this effort to develop apprenticeships and create opportunities for their program participants. The Boise, ID chapter of the International Rescue Committee actively participated in the effort to help refugees use their existing skills to re-enter the workforce through a pre-apprenticeship program that pipelines into several large regional hospitals.

ApprenticeshipIdaho has increased the use of registered apprenticeships by 67 percent between 2016 and 2018. Much of this was accomplished by the state as it leveraged multiple resources, including several U.S. Department of Labor grants the state received specifically to expand apprenticeship programs throughout Idaho.  This was accomplished by 1) establishing a coordinated team effort to be the point of contact for apprenticeship information and implementation; and 2) developing a concerted outreach effort to educate, convene and partner with business, education and other partners as needed to help fill workforce gaps.

ApprenticeshipIdaho has helped to increase the state’s focus on integrated, rather than siloed, business outreach and assistance, ensuring identification and development of career pathways and industry-recognized credentials with each new RA. The state’s workforce system prioritized supporting its key industries’ growth and technological capabilities by developing a trained workforce throughout the state, and spurred on by facilitated cross training with workforce, education, community and business partners to coordinate communication with specific business sectors. ApprenticeshipIdaho partners serve to improve the state’s RA capacity, having participated at the local level in groups with other state partner agencies focused on organizing services around business recruitment or generating jobseeker interest leading to enrollment in the work-based learning activity across Idaho workforce programs. Many customers, individual and employers, have benefited from this “tag-teaming” of resources, which continues its success today.