Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: August 21, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Announces Virginia Awarded $1.6 Million Grant to Expand Apprenticeships

Funding will support increased access to and availability of Registered Apprenticeship opportunities

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the Commonwealth has been awarded more than $1.6 million in grant funding from the federal Department of Labor to expand Virginia’s already successful apprenticeship efforts. The Registered Apprenticeship Program, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI), works with employers to ensure that on-the-job learning experiences and related technical instruction provide the necessary real-world skills that workers need to be successful. Through partnerships with approximately 2,200 employers, the program serves roughly 12,000 Virginia-based apprentices in fields ranging from computer programming to the building trades.

“While Virginia’s low unemployment rate and positive economic growth are a point of pride, we know that many employers are having difficulty finding the talent they need to remain competitive in a global economy,” said Governor Northam. “Registered apprenticeships allow workers to gain in-demand skills training and education while also providing businesses with highly-qualified, work-ready employees. This funding will support our ongoing efforts to grow Virginia’s diverse and talented workforce and greatly expand apprenticeship opportunities throughout the Commonwealth.”

The goals of this three-year grant include adding 800 additional apprentices in high-demand areas, incentivizing new businesses through extra support and resources, and integrating this well-proven workforce development strategy into talent development activities in our communities, K-12 system, and higher education. With high labor shortages in fields like healthcare and technology, this grant will work with businesses to examine ways to incorporate registered apprenticeships in all career pathways. This grant will not only support businesses, but will give many Virginians the opportunity to earn a paycheck while learning 21st century skills.

“The Commonwealth is already a national leader in the Registered Apprenticeship space,” said Chief Workforce Development Advisor Megan Healy. “This grant will allow us to build on that success and cement our status as the best place to do business.”

Since its establishment in 1938, the Virginia Registered Apprenticeship Program has provided a path to prosperity for workers across the Commonwealth. The combination of mentorship from subject matter experts, on-the-job training opportunities, and classroom instruction provide a strong foundation for many future workers.  

“Registered Apprenticeship in Virginia has a track record of more than 80 years of success in providing workers with career skills, opportunities, and enabling employers to grow their businesses with skilled employees,” said C. Ray Davenport, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. “We look forward to the opportunities this grant will provide to workers and businesses.”

For more information, visit the DOLI Registered Apprenticeship website or contact Patricia (Trish) Morrison, Director of the Division of Registered Apprenticeship at patricia.morrison@doli.virginia.gov or (804) 786-1035.

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