Big news for Austin’s skilled workforce development: the Workforce Solutions Capital Area Workforce Board received the inaugural Registered Apprenticeship Expansion Award of $100,000 from the Texas Workforce Commission on December 4 at the 23rd Annual Workforce Conference in Dallas!
Registered Apprenticeship (RA) is an important solution toward strengthening Austin’s skilled workforce. Through RAs, residents can acquire valuable skills in a variety of in-demand occupations across key economic sectors, including skilled trades and advanced manufacturing, and employers can fill open positions with local talent who possess the required skills.
We’re working with many of our community partners to introduce new apprenticeship programs and expand existing ones. Such as the electrical pre-apprenticeship program for students at Navarro High School, created in partnership with TRIO Electric, Austin ISD, and Austin Community College (ACC). This year saw the launch of the second cohort at Navarro, and TRIO’s expansion of the program to Premiere High School – Austin North, a public charter school.
We partnered with Texas Mutual Insurance Company and KVUE, our local ABC affiliate, for Trade Up Texas, a career exploration and awareness campaign. Together, we created a website and a video series to introduce interested residents to training and employment opportunities in the trades. The campaign ran from December 2018 to June 2019, and is one of many initiatives we have joined Texas Mutual for to inspire Austinites to become professional, safe workers contributing to our region’s economic competitiveness.
Another new pathway to RA is the Certified Production Technician Training Program funded by Texas Mutual and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and offered by Workforce Solutions Capital Area in partnership with ACC and the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association. The program offers free manufacturing production training and paid internships, and 22 people have completed the program thus far, including Tony Gayles, a hearing impaired job seeker who now works full time at Community Impact Printing in Pflugerville.
Have you participated in an RA program? Which apprenticeable occupation is your favorite? Tell us in a comment below!