“Registered apprenticeships provide a path to the middle class for workers, and this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to bring together partners with a vested interest in expanding apprenticeship programs and creating a pipeline to success attainable for everyone,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “National Apprenticeship Week allows stakeholders to engage with one another, generate ideas and share creative solutions for encouraging apprenticeship, retraining our workforce and rebuilding our middle class.”

First held in November 2015, National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the role of apprenticeships in helping workers earn while they learn and grow the economy.

Since its establishment, NAW has prompted more than 5,000 events, 700 proclamations and 470,000 attendees across the country. Social distancing protocols forced many of 2020’s events to be virtual, which challenged participants to find creative methods to engage audiences and expand reach. Events in 2021 may incorporate virtual and in-person collaborations as participants promote awareness, showcase innovation, and identify opportunities for partnerships.

NAW furthers the department’s commitment to supporting President Biden’s infrastructure plan to create jobs that make America more competitive and provide opportunities to workers from marginalized communities. Secretary Walsh also announced future dates for National Apprenticeship Week. They include November 14-20, 2022; November 13-19, 2023 and November 18-24, 2024.

The U.S. Department of Labor has also announced a number of funds to award up to four new contracts to Industry Intermediaries to launch, promote and expand Registered Apprenticeship models in critical industries impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and industries that have not traditionally used apprenticeships to meet employer and sector needs.

Industry Intermediaries are organizations within an industry or sub-sector serving as liaisons to employers, other industry partners and the department’s Office of Apprenticeship to determine skill needs and workforce trends and works with employers to increase apprenticeship opportunities. Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the request for proposals solicits intermediaries looking to expand apprenticeship opportunities in industries affected disproportionately by the pandemic including; transmission and distribution; semi-conductors, transportation equipment manufacturing and transportation and logistics operations for supply chain distribution in air, rail and water.