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    President Biden Joins the RAP Game: Apprenticeship Executive Order for Scaling and Expansion

    While there was plenty of news this week about President Biden’s State of the Union Address, we’d hate for you to have missed that the day before, President Biden issued an apprenticeship executive order titled “Scaling and Expanding the Use of Registered Apprenticeships in Industries and the Federal Government and Promoting Labor-Management Forums.”

    Topics included:

    • Vice President Harris’s involvement in promotion of the included initiatives
    • A directive to federal agencies to better utilize registered apprenticeships as a pathway into employment within those same agencies
    • A request that the Department of Labor and Office of Personnel Management issue a report within 180 days that documents opportunities to expand Federal registered apprenticeships
    • For a broader set of federal agencies, they should seek out opportunities to require the use of RAPs within the private sector for firms seeking federal grants and contracts
    • Labor Management Forums within the federal government will be reestablished to ensure workers have a voice.

    What Does the White House Apprenticeship Executive Order Have to Say About the Power of RAPs?

    “Registered Apprenticeships are a proven strategy to expand equitable training pathways to good-paying jobs, including union jobs. Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has invested more than $440 million to expand the capacity of the Registered Apprenticeship system, supporting the education and training needs of more than 1 million apprentices across the country. The new efforts announced today will help ensure Americans have the skills and training they need for the good jobs created by the President’s Investing in America agenda, which includes the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act. Vice President Harris will highlight the announcements in the Executive Order while meeting with registered apprentices at the construction site of the future Madison Metro Transit facility.”

    Proven strategy? Yes, we 100% agree. GoSprout Founder Carlos Vazquez built the company because he so strongly agrees with this statement.

    Moreover, he sees it as the most viable path for our nation’s youth in similar situations to his childhood (immigrant family in South Bronx) to achieve what he ultimately did: become the first in his family with a college degree and eventually become the CEO of a technology company. Read his story.

    How Does this Initiative Complement the Department of Labor’s “National Apprenticeship System Enhancements” Initiative?

    If you need a refresher, please have a look at our coverage of the DoL’s early-2024 announcements about streamlining RAPs across the board and providing getter guidance to state-level stakeholders.

    Fundamentally, the Department of Labor formally recognized what GoSprout has known all along:

    • Registered apprenticeships are an amazing vehicle for helping our nations’ youth graduate debt-free and transition directly into a well-paid job within their community
    • Too few registered apprenticeships exist because the registration and compliance process is convoluted and requires coordination between all stakeholders (historically via Excel and email)
    • This problem needs to be solved to close our nation’s talent gap (and talent gaps within specific communities across the country)
    • Solving this problem can help significantly reduce our nation’s student debt problem
    DOL to Modernize Apprenticeship Regulations

    It goes without saying that our youth are our future and maintaining our position as the most innovative country globally is critical for The United States that future generations will inherit.

    So the executive order brief mentioned the DoL’s initiatives specifically:

    “The EO builds upon nearly $200 million in funding opportunities the Administration recently made available to expand, diversify and strengthen Registered Apprenticeships nationwide. In February, the Department of Labor announced availability of $95 million in competitive grants through the Apprenticeship Building America, as well as $100 million for the State Apprenticeship Expansion Formula Grants.”

    In other words, the Federal Government is all-in on registered apprenticeships.

    What Should Employers Who Contract with the Federal Government Expect?

    Many firms that contract with the federal government are already aware that tax credits and incentives exist for firms that use registered apprenticeships but many have historically felt like the administrative cost was still too high.

    Once the studies requested of the various agencies are completed, you should expect contracts with those agencies to include new provisions, in some cases, excluding companies without RAPs completely.

    Where guidance is looser, you’re likely to be less competitive than companies with registered apprenticeship programs.

    Over time, we suspect that a “grace period” will evaporate, so if you aren’t already studying how to launch your apprenticeship, it’s go time.

    What Should Employers and Sponsors Expect from Federal Grant Programs Post Apprenticeship Executive Order?

    So much grant money is available for companies that have registered apprenticeships. Yet much of it goes unclaimed.

    For similar reasons, companies that use grants have also historically felt that the benefits of apprenticeships didn’t out way the costs.

    Employers coordinating with Sponsors and RTI-providing schools on top of compliance filings is a lot to manage.

    But we expect two factors to coalesce around federal grant money:

    1. The visibility of available grants will be much higher. At GoSprout, we’re already working on enhancements to our apprenticeship platform to make it easier to find available grants.
    2. Our tool now exists. With a cloud apprenticeship platform that allows Employers, Sponsors, and Schools to coordinate with journeyworkers and apprentices, the administrative cost is significantly lower.

    In other words, it will now make a lot of sense to use those grants and accomplish the initiatives they support!

    What Should Students Expect?

    The White House, Department of Labor, and other Federal entities are all pushing for the same thing: more registered apprenticeships to exist quickly.

    So government contractors, companies who utilize Federal grants, and the Federal agencies themselves will all be launching more RAPs across many industries and skillsets. That’s great news and likely to impact all 50 states and the territories.

    But there’s another set of pre-apprentices out there that don’t even know about apprenticeships as anything other than something they heard in story from medieval times.

    So many students who want a college degree will become aware that these opportunities exist because there is meaningful funding all of a sudden.

    Whereas the student-debt route was all many students thought was possible, many students will now earn a living way while they are in school, graduate debt-free, and walk right into a well-paid position where they already know people from their apprenticeship program. That’s amazing!

    So Is Your Firm Going to Stay on the Sidelines?

    So unused funding is available via grants.

    Contracts that were previously available to firms without registered apprenticeships are likely to add those requirements this year.

    The Department of Labor initiative will drive down inefficiencies related to confusion and lack of clarity between Federal and State programs.

    And then there’s GoSprout: Our company was founded to monitor all of the above and internalize all the opportunities to streamline launch, management, stakeholder coordination, and compliance via our SaaS solution that unites Sponsors, Employers, Schools, Journeyworkers, and Apprentices with a single solution that handles all their workflows.

    Our clients love the solution already, and we’re always working to add more value. Our current initiatives include:

    • Enhancing our branded apprenticeship application so programs are easier to find and apply for
    • Enhancing our pre-apprenticeship course catalog so apprentices get started on the right foot
    • Surfacing available grants and how to qualify
    • Launching our mobile app to make logging OJT and RTI even more accessible
    • Building in Pre-Apprenticeship and Youth Apprenticeship options

    The result: registered apprenticeships are now profitable and all the transformative benefits for all stakeholders will be unlocked more and more frequently. That’s the goal of our company.

    Check out our handy apprenticeship ROI calculator if you’d like to look at the numbers in more detail.

    What’s Next?

    If you haven’t already joined the GoSprout community, we would love to get to know you and your firm.

    Whether our apprenticeship management software makes sense or not, we’re putting together resources and spreading the good word about everyone who shares our vision of making readily available registered apprenticeships commonplace across the country.

    Contact Us

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      We'll show you how GoSprout simplifies the Apprenticeship Management process and provides Managers, Apprentices, and HR with critical data and lifecycle management.

      Miami, FL

      (305) 684-3341