L&I looks to expand apprenticeship opportunities

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is receiving a $200,000 federal grant to expand apprenticeship opportunities.

“This grant will help increase the number of employers providing apprenticeships,” said Elizabeth Smith, assistant director of L&I’s Fraud Prevention & Labor Standards, which oversees the agency’s Apprenticeship Program. “We’re creating ways for people to get the training they need for family-wage jobs.”

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the grant earlier this month as part of an effort to expand apprenticeships nationwide. In all, $10.4 million in Apprenticeship USA State Accelerator Grants were distributed.

With its share of the funding, L&I hopes to:

  • Increase the number of employers using apprentices to train their workforce. The agency will work through the governor-appointed, seven-member Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council to attract businesses.
  • Ease apprenticeship tracking and reporting requirements for employers on public works projects, such as roads and schools.
  • Place information technology apprentices in state agencies, as part of a Washington Technology Industry Association program.

L&I has been involved with apprenticeships for more than 70 years, overseeing training standards and program curriculum as part of its work with the council. There are more than 150 registered apprenticeship training programs in the state with more than 11,000 active apprentices.

For more information, visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Apprenticeship.

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