National Apprenticeship Week is just one month away. The third annual celebration will take place November 13-19, giving apprenticeship programs across the country the opportunity to showcase their unique benefits and ability to cultivate a highly-skilled workforce. Throughout the week, students, current apprentices and their sponsors, job creators and educators will attend events celebrating apprenticeships, showing the breadth of support for such programs.
There are more than 545,000 apprentices across the nation – many of them right here in the Old North State – spanning more than 1,000 occupations. Over the last five years, the number of apprentices nationwide has jumped drastically, with more than 165,000 additional individuals enrolled into apprenticeship programs since 2013. Nearly 9 out of 10 of these apprentices have a job upon completion of their programs, garnering an average starting salary of $60,000 per year. It’s important to note that apprenticeships don’t just benefit the apprentices. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, for each dollar spent on apprenticeships, job creators receive approximately $1.50 ROI. There’s no question that apprenticeship programs strengthen our ability to compete, while helping meet the needs of a rapidly evolving workforce.
As we work to make North Carolina the number one producer of world-class talent in the modern global economy, apprenticeships will be an integral component to closing the skills gap and filling our talent pipeline. It is for that reason, the NC Chamber Foundation created an apprenticeship council and is exploring avenues to grow apprenticeship programs across the state. This #WorkReadyWednesday, we encourage you to get involved in this year’s National Apprenticeship Week. For ideas on how to join the celebration or to register an event, check out the Department of Labor’s resources on National Apprenticeship Week here. If you have questions about apprenticeships in North Carolina or the ways in which you can get involved, please email Cassi Zumbiel, policy development manager for NC Chamber Foundation. As we prepare for National Apprenticeship Week, I look forward to sharing more about North Carolina apprenticeships with you soon.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber