DOL grants are going to 46 public-private partnerships that have pledged to train more than 30,000 apprentices in high-tech and high-demand skills during the next five years.

Commerce to Study ROI of Registered Apprenticeships

Penny Pritzker, the commerce secretary, announced the plan during the White House Apprenticeship Summit on Sept. 8. President Obama on Sept. 9 said DOL is awarding $175 million in American Apprenticeship Grants to 46 public-private partnerships that have pledged to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries during the next five years.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on Sept. 8 the White House Apprenticeship Summit announced what the Commerce Department described as the first-ever effort to document the return on investment for U.S. employers that use registered apprenticeships. The announcement said the Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation will support a partnership between Case Western Reserve University and the department's Economics and Statistics Administration to conduct the study across multiple sectors.

'Hard data is critical to making the business case for expansion of apprenticeship models," said Pritzker. "As part of the Commerce Department's 'Skills for Business' initiative, we believe this rigorous study will be an essential tool to communicate the value of these programs to industry. We are collaborating with Case Western Reserve University to ensure that our training programs prepare workers for the jobs of the 21st century and to help achieve President Obama's goal to double the number of registered apprenticeship programs in the United States."

On Sept. 9, the president visited Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich., and announced steps to expand apprenticeships. He said the U.S. Department of Labor is awarding $175 million in American Apprenticeship Grants to 46 public-private partnerships that have pledged to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries, including health care, IT, and advanced manufacturing during the next five years.

The Commerce Department announcement did not say when the study will be completed but said it "will analyze firms with diversity in sector, occupation and geography to provide the business community with data on employer benefits and costs that has only ever been collected in overseas studies. Researchers will collect detailed information on the apprenticeship programs, associated costs and investments, and the apprentices' performance and productivity to fill this critical gap in our understanding of U.S. apprenticeships."

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