Dean Guldo: Focuses on career opportunities for next generation of workers

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 10, 2024

For many young people, summer is a season to consider job opportunities. Some may simply want to earn some extra money while others see a chance to gain some experience to ready them for a good-paying job.

The good news is that Registered Apprenticeships offer a way to do both.

Apprenticeships have long been a proven, earn-as-you-learn method for creating pathways young people to get a head-start toward a good career. They also address the needs of employers in many, many industries for skilled workers to remain competitive and grow their businesses.

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With these benefits in mind, the U.S. Department of Labor is focused on ensuring that high-quality Registered Apprenticeship programs are available for the next generation of workers. Our “Youth Employment Works” strategy connects the public workforce system with public and private sector partners to promote and expand these programs.

Currently, about one-third of the approximately 900,000 Registered Apprentices who served in 2023 were people, ages 16 to 24, in industries like construction and manufacturing where apprenticeships have long been successful, as well as in high-growth industries such as information technology, cybersecurity, healthcare, gaming and graphic design, engineering, and artificial intelligence.

To increase these numbers, we’re investing millions through Apprenticeship Building America and Youth Apprenticeship Intermediary grants and strengthening the nation’s long established Job Corps program to give young people pre-apprenticeship opportunities, including placements in good-paying union jobs.

To show the importance of these efforts, the department’s Employment and Training Administration will celebrate the inaugural Youth Apprenticeship Week from May 5-11. Across the nation, employers, educational institutions, labor unions, community-based organizations, workforce partners, government agencies and others will host events to raise awareness of Registered Apprenticeship career opportunities for young people.

We encourage you to learn more about Youth Apprenticeship Week and find an event near you. Together, we can help bring more Registered Apprenticeships to more people and more industries, helping young people to earn and learn while we strengthen our national economy.

Dean Guido is the regional director in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.