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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: apprenticeships

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January 15, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Workforce training: Some programs are stars, others have little effect

More than $842 million in state and federal money was spent on workforce training in Washington state last year, including money for many programs run by the state’s 34 community and technical colleges.

So how well do these programs do?

A recently-released report card provides some answers.

Workforce training encompasses 16 programs in Washington, including high school career and technical education, apprenticeships, worker retraining, vocational associate of arts degrees and vocational certificates, said Marina Parr, communications director for the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board.

One of the top-performing programs is apprenticeships. Workers who complete an apprenticeship make, on average about $63,000 a year shortly after finishing a program. They made about $19,000 more a year than a control group of people with similar demographics who did not participate, and had an employment rate that was 9.8 percentage points higher than the control group.

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0 Comments | More in News | Topics: apprenticeships, Community and Technical Colleges, higher ed

December 9, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Apprenticeships: great jobs and good pay — but scarce

Can a practice that was popular in the Middle Ages help improve worker training and education today?

A new national report is urging states and the federal government to expand the use of apprenticeships — work that couples on-the-job training with class work, usually at a community or technical college.

“Apprenticeships have been a tried and true method of educating and training workers since the Middle Ages,” says the report by Ben Olinsky and Sarah Ayres, researchers with the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress. They’re the authors of “Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States.” 

An apprenticeship is both a job and an education. Under the “earn while you learn” model, apprentices take community or technical college classes while also working side-by-side with skilled employees to learn the trade or skill.

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0 Comments | More in News | Topics: apprenticeships, higher ed