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Modernizing Apprenticeships: Disability, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

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Apprenticeships are making a comeback as a way for people to learn a skilled trade or profession, and earn comfortable wages for a good quality of life.

This job training style has a long history. Its renaissance means that programs need to be updated to reflect the modern workplace. That includes opening their doors to a more diverse pool of program applicants.

DOL recently awarded nearly $31 million to establish four Registered Apprenticeship Technical Assistance Centers of Excellence [for] apprenticeship programs and their enrolled trainees.

- Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship

Future Forward Apprenticeships

The Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship (PIA) is an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Begun in late 2020, the project based its work in Human Centered Design sessions to define their mission and their work.

PIA works with employers, apprenticeship providers and people with disabilities to make apprenticeship programs more inclusive. They also support apprenticeship brokers in pairing up job seekers with disabilities with employers interested in offering inclusive apprenticeships.

PIA Resources

The PIA has gathered a vast array of resources to help practitioners modernize apprenticeships. They include:

  • Resource Library
  • Apprenticeship for All Podcast
  • EEO Toolkit
  • Best Practices for Accessible OJT
  • Perspectives on Apprenticeship
  • Designing Inclusive Apprenticeships Guide
  • The Value of Inclusive Apprenticeships
  • Creating Inclusive Virtual & Hybrid Apprenticeships

Review and use these resources to help apprenticeships reflect current knowledge about employment potential of people with disabilities.

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