Resources to Help Partnerships Expand Youth Apprenticeship Programs
Nonpartisan think tank, New America, recently compiled resources on its website that offer insights and guidance on creating strong partnerships at the regional, state and local levels to expand quality youth apprenticeship programs.
The resources were produced by organizations in New America’s Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA). Supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this multistate initiative aims to help high school students access high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.
Apprenticeships, when well executed, allow young people to earn credentials and a paycheck while training alongside skilled mentors, creating equitable pathways in growing fields, such as health care, hospitality and technology.
“Youth apprenticeships are emerging as a growing strategy in communities across the nation to increase access to college and career,” says Andrea Messing-Mathie, a director focused on youth apprenticeships for JFF, a workforce-focused nonprofit and PAYA partner. “But high-quality youth apprenticeships require an ecosystem of support around young people, which demands strong partnerships.”
The resources, which were published in the past several months, are meant to help educators, employers, policymakers and other stakeholders collaborate effectively to ensure apprenticeship programs succeed. Resources include:
- JFF’s Self-Assessment and Planning Tool for Youth Apprenticeship Programs, which helps local, state and regional entities gauge whether they have the appropriate supports and leadership needed to develop quality apprenticeship programs;
- a white paper from the National Governors Association that explores how governors can help expand apprenticeship programs — including by advocating and setting a statewide vision for growing quality apprenticeships, allocating and dedicating funding and implementing policies that provide long-term support;
- Advance CTE’s report, The Role of Data and Accountability in Growing Youth Apprenticeship Programs, which features information on how states are collecting data on youth apprenticeships and other work-based learning programs and how to expand the collection of vital data on enrollment, retention, outcomes and other key items; and
- Education Strategy Group’s The Critical Role of Intermediary Organizations in Expanding Youth Apprenticeship, which provides insights for partnering organizations and institutions seeking to build intermediary organizations — which coordinate activities between various groups and key individuals that operate and oversee apprenticeship programs at local, state or regional levels.
“We hope these resources provide organizations and individuals with key information and tools they need to start building quality apprenticeship pathways,” says Allison Gerber, a senior associate at the Casey Foundation. “In particular, we want to see apprenticeship programs provide youth and young adults of color opportunities to enter and succeed in occupations and industries where they are underrepresented — and it’s essential that strong partnerships are formed to ensure that these programs thrive.”