Techniques Magazine Techniques March 2011 : Page 23

By JANE OATES AND JOhN V. LADD n an economy that has experts making comparisons to the Great Depression, everyone has a stake in finding new and innovative ways to help promote job creation and provide career pathways for underemployed and unemployed workers alike. Career and technical education (CTE) has never been more important for U.S. workers as busi-nesses seek employees who are prepared to perform from day one. A degree no longer guarantees employment. Today, solid skills and credentials that prove that a worker has reached a certain level of skill attainment are the best way for a job seeker to catch an employer’s eye. A potential strategy that can help expand and advance the efforts of CTE providers is one that offers high-level job training that doesn’t just prepare you for a job; it is a job from day one. The solution may be collaboration with one of America’s longest running, and most successful, career training models. The solution may be Registered Apprenticeship. Registered Apprenticeship has long been known in the United States as a great training option for workers look-ing to learn a new skill and become an expert-level craftsperson in their trade. Be it traditional industries or those that are only now becoming better known, the I prenticeship model has long been a part of the training strategies employers in the United States have relied on to prepare their workforce. Increasingly, this model offers workers a head start on their way to a lifelong career. Entry into a Registered Apprentice-ship program to support or directly follow completion of a CTE discipline is a great way for a worker to expand the array of “tools in their bag.” Entrance into a Reg-istered Apprenticeship program, coupled with graduation from a CTE program, has the potential to offer workers one of the best chances to enter a new career, learn new skills and provide an opportu-nity to see their wages grow as their skills increase. Many people still only think of Regis-tered Apprenticeship as an opportunity for young men who do not plan to attend college to learn new skills and enter a trade. Today’s Registered Apprenticeship is much more. All Registered Apprentice-ship programs have always required some classroom training, and today many pro-grams often allow apprentices to earn col-lege credits. Additionally, as Registered Apprenticeship continues to diversify and expand, underrepresented populations are finding increased opportunities and pathways into new careers. Registered “Today, solid skills and credentials that prove that a worker has reached a certain level of skill attainment are the best way for a job seeker to catch an employer’s eye.” apprenticeship offers these individuals access to both classroom and on-the-job training that give them the skills to suc-ceed in sustainable careers. Today’s 21st century Registered Ap-prenticeship offers women the same op-portunities for economic self-sufficiency. In traditional industries such as construc-tion, as well as emerging industries such as advanced manufacturing, green-related technologies and health care, ap-prenticeship is an opportunity for women to access quality training that provides pathways to lifelong careers. March 2011 Techniques 23

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