For Immediate Release: October 6, 2015
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Signs Executive Order on Advancing Apprenticeships in Virginia

 

RICHMOND – While speaking today at the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Workforce Conference in Richmond, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed Executive Order Number 49 on expanding registered apprenticeships in Virginia.

“Apprenticeships are a proven tool for connecting people who are seeking work with employers offering good-paying and rewarding positions to individuals with the right skills,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This Executive Order will make Virginia a leader in adopting Registered Apprenticeships in both the public and private sectors so that we can train the workforce we need to help us build a new Virginia economy.”

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones added, “Talent development is the most important ingredient for sustainable economic growth in the Commonwealth. Registered Apprenticeships are an effective talent development vehicle for all industries and provide a powerful combination of work, education and training to prepare our workforce for the jobs to be done in the 21st century.”

Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Ray Davenport added, “Expanding Registered Apprenticeships will help Virginia’s efforts to get workers the skills they need to succeed in rewarding careers. I look forward to helping to implement this order so that more companies and workers can come together around skilled positions that are essential to building a new Virginia economy.”

The full text of Executive Order Number 49 is below:

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Governor
Executive Order
Expanding Registered Apprenticeships in Virginia

Importance of the Initiative

By 2022, about 500,000 new jobs will be created in Virginia, and over 930,000 workers will be needed to replace Virginia’s retiring workforce.  As many as 50% to 65% of those jobs will be at the technician and trades level, and offering pathways to successful standard of living.  These are jobs that require postsecondary education and training, but generally not a college degree.  Registered Apprenticeship is a nationally recognized, tried and true strategy to prepare a skilled workforce for these technician level jobs.  Registered Apprenticeship provides a portable credential of skills development and workplace experience to Virginians who attain a Certificate of Completion and Journeyworker Card, while also providing businesses with a pipeline of skilled workers with higher productivity and retention rates, and a return on investment for their employers.  This is why my administration is committed to dramatically expanding Registered Apprenticeship in Virginia.

Administered by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (VDOLI), Registered Apprenticeship combines on-the-job learning and apprenticeship-related instruction, with the latter often delivered by a community college or career and technical education center.  Registered Apprenticeship instills loyalty in workers and decreases employee turnover because a registered apprenticeship provides valuable, life long career benefits including: certifications and licenses that matter to business, and an opportunity to simultaneously learn and earn -with a graduated pay scale that recognizes increased skill attainment. 

The US Department of Labor recognizes over 900 occupations as appropriate for setting up a Registered Apprenticeship including: skilled trades, business and professional services, information technology, and education and human services occupations.  No other training program to prepare job seekers includes the balance of on the job and classroom learning as does Registered Apprenticeship. 

A Registered Apprenticeship Program for State Agencies

State agencies, like private employers should reap the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship to better recruit, retain, and strengthen the skills of state workers beginning their public service careers.  Currently, robust Registered Apprenticeship programs preparing skilled trade workers, office administrators, early childhood providers, groundskeepers, and other occupations are used by a number of local government entities.  State governments can use Registered Apprenticeship to cultivate highly skilled workers in those occupations for which qualified applicants can be challenging to recruit.  

Given these benefits to employers and employees, I therefore direct VDOLI to initiate a program that will expand enrollment of state agencies as registered apprenticeship sponsors through fiscal incentives to support the cost of apprenticeship-related instruction.  Pursuant to this Executive Order, VDOLI and other identified state agencies shall take the following actions:

  1. By January 1, 2016, VDOLI will produce, in coordination with the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management (VDHRM), guidelines and an application for state agencies to register an apprenticeship program and seek a state incentive to cover the costs of apprenticeship-related instruction.  During FY 2016, up to $120,000 will be available through VDOLI to state agencies to support apprenticeship-related instruction.  Completed applications for incentive funds to cover the related instruction costs of registered apprentices (who are also state employees) will be accepted by VDOLI on a first-come, first-serve. VDOLI will consult with interested state agencies to identify occupations for a registered apprenticeship program.  VDOLI will report monthly to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade on the status of agency enrollments as registered apprenticeship sponsors and of agency applications for funding to support apprenticeship-related instruction.
  1. By January 1, 2016, to ensure that state agencies are fully apprised of the options for apprenticeship-related instruction, the Governor’s Chief Workforce Advisor will convene VDOLI, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and VDHRM to plan and prepare an information strategy, including on-line resources, to guide state agencies in selecting an apprenticeship-related instruction provider.   Information will identify all financial aid resources available to support registered apprenticeships, including the new funding program for agencies to support apprenticeship-related instruction.   

New Resources to Support Private Sector Registered Apprenticeships

To increase the number of Registered Apprenticeship programs in key industry sectors (such as Information Technology, Cyber Security, and Professional and Business Services) that have not traditionally sponsored registered apprentices, the Commonwealth of Virginia will offer fiscal incentives to businesses who register apprentices in such key industry sectors to cover the costs of apprenticeship-related instruction.  Specifically, I direct the identified agencies to take the following actions:

  1. By January 1, 2016, VDOLI, in consultation with the Governor’s Chief Workforce Advisor, will release guidelines and applications for fiscal support of apprenticeship-related instruction to private sector companies interested in sponsoring registered apprenticeship(s) in the targeted occupations.  During FY 2016, up to $280,000 will be available through VDOLI to private sector companies to support apprentice-related instruction for registered apprentices in the targeted occupations.  Completed applications for incentive funds to cover apprenticeship-related instruction will be accepted by VDOLI on a first-come, first-serve basis.  In consultation with the Governor’s Chief Workforce Advisor, VDOLI may include additional occupations. 
  1. By January 1, 2016, to further assist all private sector employers in sponsoring a Registered Apprenticeship program, VDOLI, VCCS and Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), will develop policies and procedures through which businesses who are Registered Apprenticeship sponsors can apply for available federal or state training funds, available through Virginia’s Workforce System, to support apprenticeship-related instruction.   

Effective Date of the Executive Order

This Executive Order shall be effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect until amended or rescinded by further executive order.

Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 6th Day of October, 2015.

 

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