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Delaware’s Department of Labor to expand apprenticeship programs thanks to grant

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Delaware’s Department of Labor will receive a $200,000 grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor, it was announced Wednesday.

The grant will help integrate apprenticeship into the state’s education and workforce systems; engage industry and other partners to expand apprenticeship to new sectors and new populations at scale; conduct outreach and work with employers to start news apprenticeship programs; promote greater inclusion and diversity in apprenticeship programs, and implement state incentives and system reforms.

The grants are part of ApprenticeshipUSA, the department’s coordinated effort with industry and education leaders, nonprofits, and local governments to highlight the benefits of apprenticeship and expand the use of this time-tested, earn-while-you-learn model.

“This grant is so important because it allows us to continue providing opportunities to Delaware residents for valuable training and experience,” said Patrice Gilliam-Johnson, secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor. “We’re grateful for our congressional delegation for making sure Delaware is included in the allocation of this much-needed resource.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average starting wage above $50,000 per year. The return on investment for employers is substantial, as studies indicate that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers receive an average of $1.47 return in increased productivity, reduced waste and greater front-line innovation.

Apprenticeships are offered in a variety of occupations. The majority of apprenticeships are four years in length or 8000 hours of on-the-job training. For each year of training, a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction is required. Upon completion of the required on-the-job training and related instruction, the apprentice is eligible for Journey papers. A journeyperson is nationally recognized as having a well-rounded ability in all phases of his or her trade.

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