According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are over 150,000 employers using registered apprenticeship programs employing over half of a million employees in over 1,000 occupations. There are no records on the number of informal apprenticeship programs. The educational components of apprenticeship programs can be scaled up to regional and even state scales, but apprentices are employed with specific participating employers. The credentials earned through registered apprenticeship programs are recognized among many employers and federal and state governments. Apprenticeship programs can be especially effective where there are participating labor unions that represent the workers and have master contracts or informal agreements with multiple employers in a region.
In 1995, firms in Charlotte launched Apprenticeship 2000, an innovative 4-year training program that puts high school juniors and seniors on career pathways in skilled technical trades such as electricians and machinists. After four years of paid training and work, apprentices earn a journeyman's certificate from the State of North Carolina as well as an associate's degree, and are guaranteed a job after graduation. Based on this successful model, Central Piedmont Community College launched Apprenticeship Charlotte to reach a broader pool of applicants (including military veterans and college students, connect with more employers, and to expand the training program beyond traditional skilled trades. Business leaders and policymakers can partner with diverse workforce intermediaries to scale or multiply such programs, integrating an explicit focus on racial equity and mitigating occupational segregation, to create a win-win proposition for regional employers (both large and small) and economically insecure families of color.
In San Francisco, City College of San Francisco offers the Information Security Apprenticeship Program, a registered apprenticeship program with a pre-apprenticeship component initially funded by the California Community College Chancellor's Office. The program helps train, employ, and retain the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, addressing the need for qualified information security analysts by preparing a diverse pool of highly qualified new cybersecurity workers. Upon completion of the program, apprentices are qualified as CISSP Associates, on the way to one of the most highly regarded cybersecurity certifications in the industry. The State of California is an important participating employer in this program; San Francisco Unified School District and San Francisco International Airport have also committed to offer a few apprentice slots.