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​Registered Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships are innovative training programs that allow employers to develop and prepare their future workforce, while providing individuals with an learn-while-you-earn approach to career development. Apprenticeships include:

  • Paid Job - Apprentices are paid employees who produce high-quality work while they learn skills that enhance their employers' needs.
  • On-the-Job Learning - Develops skilled workers through structured learning in a work setting.
  • Classroom Learning - Improves job-related skills through education in a classroom setting (virtual or in-person).
  • Mentorship - Provides apprentices with the support of a skilled worker to assist and enhance critical hands-on learning.
  • Credentials - Offers a portable, nationally-recognized credential to be issued at the completion of the program.

​Success Stories

The benefits from apprenticeship programs are immense and widespread.  From employers being able to expand their operations while preserving the institutional knowledge of their retiring workforce, to individuals finding onramps to family-sustaining careers without taking on college debt.  Success stories that show firsthand the ability for apprenticeship programs to meeting the changing needs of a dynamic workforce can be seen on the PA CareerLink® apprenticeship webpage.


Who We Are at the Apprenticeship and Training Office

The Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO) within the PA Department of Labor & Industry is responsible for guiding and promoting the expansion of apprenticeship programs across the state. As a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA), it is responsible for overseeing the development and approval of programs, agreements, and policy that support apprenticeship, and is working to embed a focus on apprenticeships within the State's workforce system and PA CareerLink® offices.  While the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania accepts and supports the Federal Standards of Apprenticeship and works closely with the federal office, the ATO has developed PA's own set of apprenticeship standards that are specific for the Commonwealth. It supports sponsors with the resources they need to implement high quality apprenticeship programs, including through the PAsmart grant program.

ATO Goals

  • Increase the number of Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Pennsylvania.

  • Expand apprenticeship into non-traditional occupations that serve underrepresented populations.

  • Expand awareness about the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship and how to access them.

  • Advocate for apprenticeship as a premier solution to meeting workforce needs.

  • Provide programs the support and resources needed to align with PA standards and practices.

ATO Services

  • Technical Assistance:  We assist sponsors during every step of the program building and registration process, and offer continued capacity building to help maintain and enhance programs. 

  • Strategic Planning and Ecosystem Building:  We help local areas create strategic plans and establish a regional approach to growing apprenticeship, and help plan and facilitate meetings among partners, employers, training providers as needed.

  • Knowledge Dissemination, Education, and Advocacy:  This includes the creation and distribution of knowledge products specific to PA, sharing of best practices, and continuous advocacy in the form of formal support, representation, and presentations.

  • Funding Opportunities: We provide access and information related to federal and state funding opportunities available to support apprenticeship. 

  • Local Support:  The ATO supports local areas as they do all of the above, including connecting potential sponsors and apprentices to local contacts.


Meet the Team

Regional ATR

Jim Reese

Provides technical assistance with developing and registering new apprenticeship programs.

jamereese@pa.gov 

Director

Tara Loew

Oversees all operations and staff related to the Apprenticeship and Training Office.

tloew@pa.gov 

The ATO's staff of Apprenticeship & Training Representatives (ATRs) helps sponsors develop and register new apprenticeship programs. They provide technical assistance at every step on your journey to adopting this innovative approach to workforce development. 

If you’re not sure who to reach out to, contacting apprenticeship@pa.gov is a great way to get questions answered or to first express your interest in apprenticeship. From there we will ensure we either answer your questions or get you to the correct regional representative.

PA Apprenticeship and Training Council 

In accordance with the Apprenticeship and Training Act of 1961, a State Apprenticeship and Training Council exists in PA as a departmental agency in the Department of Labor & Industry to act as the approving agency of registration for proposed Apprenticeship programs. The Council is committed to promoting excellence in apprenticeship through the establishment and furtherance of standards of apprenticeship and training to safeguard the welfare of apprentices and trainees.  It aims to contribute to a healthy economy by aiding in the development and maintenance of a skilled labor force sufficient in numbers and quality to meet the expanding needs of Pennsylvania industry and to attract new industry. The specific powers and duties of the Council can be found in Section 4 of the Act (see Resources).
 
The Council is composed of eleven voting members who are appointed by the Governor, 4 representatives of employees, 4 representatives of employers, 3 representatives of the general public, as well as five ex-officio members who provide key insight and guidance.  Their diverse backgrounds and expertise around apprenticeship help them vet programs and provide suggestions for improvements. The Council’s approval of a program certifies that it meets the requirements established by the State, thereby making it eligible for government support.

Council Members 

Employee Members
​Employer Members
​Public Members
Mike Neill
Director of Training, IBEW Local 98
Lisa Godlewski
PATC Chairperson, Executive Director, Architectural Glass and Metal Association
Roy Christ
Director of Building & Housing Development, City of Harrisburg
Steve Columbus
Vice Chairperson, Administrative Manager, Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers
Roger Brubaker
President, Wilco Electric
Barry Kindt
Innovation & Expectation Chief, Secco Inc.
Tim Griffin
Apprenticeship Training Director, York Electricians JATC
Greg Chambers
Director of Corporate Compliance, Oberg Industries
Dr. Katy Rittle
Site Director & Curriculum Consultant, 32BJ SEIU
​Roscoe Green
Recording Secretary, Laborers' Local 413 Union
Michael McGraw
Executive Director, Pennsylvania Assoc. of Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors


Resources

PA Apprenticeship and Training Act

PA Apprenticeship Regulations