$5.6 million grant expands apprenticeship programs across Washington over next four years
This photo shows a sign at the headquarters for Washington state's Employment Security Department Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's rush to get unemployment benefits to residents who lost jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak left it vulnerable to criminals who made off with hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Employment Security Department (ESD) announced that, in partnership with Career Connect Washington (CCW), they were recently awarded an Apprenticeship Building America (ABA) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). 

The $5.6 million grant will enable more workers to earn while they learn.

The funding announcement comes as part of $50 million in Apprenticeship Building America grant funding announced by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The ABA grant is one-time funding for July 2022 through June 2026. 

It will expand registered apprenticeship and recognized pre-apprenticeship programs in these high-demand industries: advanced manufacturing and aerospace, agriculture, clean technology and energy, construction, education, finance, healthcare, information technology and cybersecurity, life sciences, and maritime.

Grant funds will support registered apprenticeship hubs – organizations that help employers design, develop and deliver programs. 

ESD will use the CCW coalition and its system of Sector Intermediaries and Program Builders to:

  • Engage employers in co-creating and implementing sector strategies that expand apprenticeships and recognized pre-apprenticeships in high-demand or new industry sectors.
  • Help increase access and opportunities for underrepresented communities.

In partnership with Career Connect Washington, ESD will work closely with the Department of Labor & Industries, the Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board, the Washington Student Achievement Council, and other CCW partner agencies to:

  • Increase the number of registered apprenticeship and recognized pre-apprenticeship programs in target industries.
  • Enroll 300 apprentices in 24 new or expanded registered apprenticeship programs.
  • Enroll 400 students in 12 new or expanded recognized pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • Increase the diversity of apprentices and pre-apprentices.
  • Promote equitable access to high-quality careers for communities furthest from opportunity.
  • Increase employer awareness of and commitment to programs by enlisting 50 new employer sponsors.

Next steps

ESD is working with USDOL to finalize grant requirements and guidance. ESD will then collaborate to promote the grant through the state’s apprenticeship and career-connected learning systems.

ESD anticipates issuing requests for proposals beginning in early 2023 to identify and select partners who will work with labor representatives and employers to build and scale registered apprenticeship and recognized pre-apprenticeship programs. Eligible organizations may include joint labor management councils, multi-employer training partnerships, education institutions, workforce development boards, industry associations and community-based organizations.