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Request for Participation: The Rural Youth Apprenticeship Development Project

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The Rural Youth Apprenticeship Development (RYAD) Project promotes the development and advancement of State and American Indian vocational rehabilitation (VR) apprenticeships programs for youth with disabilities in underserved rural communities. They are pleased to release a request for participation in their RYAD Learning Collaborative to all VR agencies.

VR agencies interested in participating must complete an online application to be considered.  The application deadline is April 12, 2021.

The RYAD Learning Collaborative

The RYAD Learning Collaborative is a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange model (notably used in public health) that will allow VR agencies to collaborate with one another to identify and apply practice-based solutions.  We are using the learning collaborative as a vehicle for bringing multiple VR agencies together to implement the apprenticeship model. Each VR agency will customize the approach to adapting the model to rural communities and evaluating the impacts in their state.

The basic components of the Learning Collaborative include:

  • One in-person meeting in years 2, 3 and 5 (conducted based on safety measures/comfortability/travel restrictions) and regularly scheduled telephone/videoconferences as needed
  • On-site, phone, and email guidance from RYAD staff
  • Wrap around evaluation embedded in activities.

Participation in the RYAD Learning Collaborative

The Learning Collaborative provides an infrastructure to encourage cross-state practical solutions, “space to innovate,” and peer-based learning. Learning Collaborative participants will also receive guidance from RYAD staff on program implementation and use of the VR Program Evaluation Coach.

  • Agencies selected to participate in the learning collaborative will receive guidance from RYAD Subject Matter Experts on the following:
    • Steps and considerations in approaching and selecting local businesses/employers to create apprenticeship opportunities;
    • Identification of potential partners and facilitation of planning meetings;
    • Drafting implementation plans; and
    • Establishing outcome metrics, identifying data collection measures, and using the VR Program Evaluation Coach to evaluate efforts.

Application Timeline and Instructions

Please refer to the following timeline for key project dates:

  • April 12, 2021:    Electronic Request for Participation Application Due Date
  • April 13 - April 23, 2021:   Review and Follow up Period: ICI staff will review submitted materials and may request clarification or additional information of VR
  • April 23, 2021:    Notification of selection to participate in the RYAD Learning Collaborative
  • May 3, 2021:    Learning Collaborative Start Date
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