Delaware delegation announces grant award to Delaware’s Department of Labor to expand apprenticeship program

Department of Labor will receive $200,000 to expand apprenticeship programs nationwide

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Representative John Carney (all D-Del) announced a grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor to Delaware’s Department of Labor to help expand apprenticeship programs.

Delaware will receive $200,000 to help integrate apprenticeship into their 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.

These 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.

“I’ve always said that one of the best things you can do for someone is to help them find a good job because a job is about more than just a paycheck,” said Senator Carper. “A good job also gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment, especially when we have the tools to succeed in that line of work. The Department of Labor’s apprenticeship program not only helps to connect Delawareans with rewarding careers, but also provides workers with the high-quality training needed to meet the specific needs of employers and stay competitive in the 21st century economy. An investment in this program is an investment in our workforce, and I’m pleased that the department is prioritizing this program that benefits job-seekers and employers across our state.”

“Continuing to expand career opportunities and training for the working middle-class is key to the economic health of this country,” said Senator Coons. “This wonderful news from the Department of Labor will help more Delawareans from the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District, Sussex Tech and Polytech start their career off on the right foot by developing marketable skills and encouraging them to pursue challenging and rewarding professions.”

“Apprenticeships provide a crucial means for Delawareans to gain new experience and broaden their expertise,” said Congressman Carney.  “Because of this grant, more people will develop skills that are in high-demand and be in a better position to take advantage of new opportunities.  This is an investment in Delaware workers that I know will pay off. 

“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. For additional information about the Delaware apprenticeship program