JFF's Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning empowers partners to expand high-quality apprenticeships

Organization Summary:

JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. Throughout its history, JFF has been a strong advocate and leader in promoting apprenticeship and other quality work-based learning models.

Overview of Apprenticeship Efforts:

JFF launched the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning (the Center) to spur mainstream adoption of innovative and high-quality apprenticeship and work-based learning programs that connect more people in the US to good jobs with good wages while providing employers with the skilled workers they need to grow. The Center works to expand apprenticeship and work-based learning programs into new industries and fosters access and success for a broader, more diverse group of workers. With a focus on equity, the Center works to expand economic opportunity to populations who have previously been underrepresented in career advancement, such as people of color, opportunity youth, women, people with disabilities, and veterans.

Serving a range of interested stakeholders, including employers and industry groups, state and local agencies, and other workforce system partners, the Center’s focus is to grow the field and increase capacity to expand apprenticeship and other forms of work-based learning, providing technical assistance for the widening community of stakeholders to easily access current information and resources, share best practices, and disseminate research. The Center further serves as a platform to bring together national resources, proven and promising practices, and technical assistance to support the development of successful apprenticeship and work-based learning strategies.

The Center works with employers and industry groups, state and local agencies, and other workforce system partners to advance policies and practices and to support the growth of these effective workforce strategies.

Information about Local Partners:

The Center brokers local and regional workforce partnerships, identifying and producing resources to support industry partners as they develop new apprenticeship and work-based learning programs. Through its three US Department of Labor American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) and National Intermediary contracts, the Center works with a range of national partners and intermediaries to establish and promote manufacturing and hospitality apprenticeships across more than 20 states with high-quality program architecture and services. For example, the NextGen Industrial Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship will serve a total of 1,450 apprentices in eight states, with both new and entry-level workers benefiting from the innovative competency-based hybrid structure.

Through other grant-funded work, the Center supports regional intermediaries that help industry develop high-quality programs in multiple sectors. The Center also works closely with several states to develop and implement strategies or expand employer-driven work-based learning and apprenticeship. The Center leverages JFF’s extensive networks and projects to assist states and local agencies with capacity-building to develop local systems that support ongoing expansion of these programs. The Center partners with local providers to design, test, and scale new models of apprenticeship and work-based learning.

Interesting Themes about Apprenticeship:

Interacting with a range of national partners and stakeholders, the Center has noted growing interest in expanding Registered Apprenticeships and other forms of high-quality work-based learning in the midst of significant transition and transformation for the field. In response, they provide direct support to employers and industry associations, brokering and nurturing of partnerships to scale and sustain apprenticeships within communities, and the expansion of apprenticeship intermediaries.

In addition, there continues to be great interest in embedding youth apprenticeship programs in 9th to 14th grade pathways, aligning higher education with apprenticeship programs, and greater access and success for underrepresented populations, particularly for opportunity youth who are disconnected from traditional educational and workplace institutions that drive career success. The Center is working in many communities to advance these issues and to provide high-quality work-based learning to both workers and employers.

Interested in learning more about JFF's Center on Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning? Contact Rachel Crofut, Center Communications Manager, at rcrofut@jff.org for additional information.