As a labor leader and as a mayor, I’ve helped to create and grow apprenticeship programs, and I’ve seen firsthand what they do for working people. Apprenticeships change people’s lives and bring whole families into the middle class.
That makes apprenticeship a powerful tool that can help us build back better with an economy that works for everyone – and right now at the Department of Labor, we have an incredible opportunity to expand, modernize, and diversify registered apprenticeships.
That’s why I’m proud to relaunch the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. This committee will provide advice and recommendations on key issues facing apprenticeship. It will guide us to ensure these critical programs are innovative, effective – and accessible to all, including black and brown Americans, immigrants, and women.
This apprenticeship committee represents the combined voices of workers, leaders, and experts who can inspire innovative training and apprenticeship programs that boost our economy while building an equitable workforce.
President Biden has made clear his commitment to registered apprenticeships – they are a key component in the American Jobs Plan that would allow us to scale this successful model to historic levels.
Our vision for registered apprenticeships is that they grow and expand into a variety of emerging industries and occupations, including clean energy, advanced manufacturing, information technology, cybersecurity, and healthcare. At the same time, we can bolster youth and pre-apprenticeship programs, and make necessary changes to modernize the system to ensure it is reaching the workers who need it the most.
Our nation’s economic future depends on how we provide training and support to a diverse and growing workforce. I believe in the power of apprenticeship. This training model can lead workers to a lifetime of learning and competitive wages. We have the opportunity to innovate and rethink apprenticeships for working people in this country, and I look forward to working with this committee to meet this historic moment.
For additional information on membership, click here.
Marty Walsh is the secretary of labor. Follow him on Twitter at @SecMartyWalsh.