Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier and Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Acting Secretary Neil Weaver visited a training center in Dauphin County that prepares workers for family-sustaining careers through registered apprenticeship – a workforce development model growing in Pennsylvania that offers workers the opportunity to earn while they learn on the job.
“As we kick off National Apprenticeship Week, it is only right we do so by recognizing the strength of Pennsylvania’s building and construction trades – an industry that leads the commonwealth in its commitment to dismantling barriers separating workers from in-demand skills and family-sustaining wages,” Secretary Berrier said. “At L&I, we believe strongly in the apprenticeship model and its ability to not only offer industry-driven solutions, but also to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion within Pennsylvania’s workforce.”
National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a nationwide celebration for industry, labor, equity, workforce, education and government leaders to showcase the successes and value of registered apprenticeship for building our economy, advancing racial and gender equity, and supporting underserved communities. This year’s celebration coincides with the 85th anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act.
Apprentices earn competitive wages, a paycheck from the first day of employment, and incremental raises as their skill levels increase. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 93% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship retain employment, with an average starting salary of $77,000. Apprentices who complete their program earn approximately $300,000 more during their career than non-apprenticeship workers. For every dollar spent on apprenticeships, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity.
“Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs provide participants with a paycheck while they receive the training they need to advance their careers,” said Secretary Weaver. “Investments in apprenticeship programs also support Pennsylvania businesses by ensuring there is a talented workforce ready to meet their needs. Programs like this benefit all residents of the commonwealth.”