Department of Workforce Development awarded $806,379 grant to expand apprenticeship opportunities


    Wisconsin Apprenticeship, an earn-while-you-learn program designed to get workers into trade jobs with skill development, will be expanded after a $806,379 award to the Department of Workforce Development.

    Wisconsin is one of 45 states that received funding from the U.S. Department of Labor in a $65 million investment in apprenticeship programs, DWD said in a press release Wednesday afternoon. The funds will help the DWD to strategically expand the Registered Apprenticeship and Certified Pre-Apprenticeship programs in Wisconsin, building a connection with the national apprenticeship system. 

    “Wisconsin was first in the nation to offer a registered apprenticeship program in 1911, and the program continues to be a proven workforce solution that benefits both employers and apprentices,” DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said in a release. “This grant will bolster the program’s historic growth and help expand pathways to careers with family-sustaining wages.” 

    Registered Apprenticeship connects workers with high-skill and high-wage employment with sponsors to provide both a living wage and development for further opportunities, according to a press release from DWD, and employers also benefit from the program by being supplied with loyal, skills, and driven workforces who give the employer a competitive advantage. In 2022, Registered Apprenticeship had more than 15,900 apprentices, a record-breaking number.

    With the funds, Wisconsin Apprenticeship will be able to expand by increasing awareness of apprenticeship through outreach, providing opportunities for emerging-sector employees in apprenticeship, increasing apprenticeship partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, improving technology systems, enhancing sponsors’ ability to track apprentice growth, and boost the path from Certified Pre-Apprenticeship to Registered Apprenticeship programs. 

    To learn more about Wisconsin Apprenticeship, check out the Department of Workforce Development site here.