NASWA Brings a Chorus of State Voices on Workforce—and Apprenticeship—to Washington

Organization Summary:

The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) serves as the unified voice of the workforce agencies in all 50 states, D.C. and territories. NASWA offers these agencies a variety of resources to support their work, including shared best practices, policy analysis, federal advocacy, and network for state administrators to learn from each other. NASWA prides itself on being nonpartisan and helping to form strong partnerships among its members as they collaborate to improve the economic and workforce development climate in their states.

Overview of Apprenticeship Efforts:

NASWA’s advocacy efforts center on encouraging robust federal support for state workforce development initiatives across the country, including apprenticeship. In the organization’s legislative priorities for 2018, NASWA encouraged strong federal investment in apprenticeship to expand career pathways leading to well-paying, secure jobs.

Early in 2018, NASWA developed a more detailed statement to help guide policy development on apprenticeship, highlighting critical resources and strategies necessary for expanding high-quality apprenticeship. These principles emphasize the role of partnerships among a variety of stakeholders for the success of state apprenticeship systems, especially in helping ensure that growth in apprenticeship programs within a state is cohesive and strategic. Additionally, NASWA’s apprenticeship principles lift up the importance of federal workforce development formula grants to states to support sustainable development of apprenticeship systems, and highlight the key role state workforce agencies play in effectively rolling out programs.

NASWA’s work is facilitated by a Board of Directors and by its policy committees, which bring members together around core workforce development programs or agency functions. Interest in apprenticeship is strong enough that the Employment and Training Committee benefits from the work of an Apprenticeship Subcommittee. These member bodies originated NASWA’s guiding policy for apprenticeship and statements supporting apprenticeship embodied in NASWA’s legislative priorities.

Interesting Themes about Apprenticeship:

NASWA holds a yearly Workforce Summit and welcomed over 500 state workforce directors, staff, and other stakeholders from across the country to its 82nd annual meeting in 2018. Among the many topics of focus, the summit included a plenary session on apprenticeship and a series of presentations on apprenticeship, highlighting three states’ experiences and insights on expanding high-quality apprenticeship.

Interested in learning more about NASWA’s apprenticeship efforts? Contact Kevin Naud, Policy Analyst, at for additional information.