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Apprenticeship & Training Office (ATO)

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 and serve underrepresented populations. 
    • Raise 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

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. View the ATO Region Map (PDF) to see which representative serves you. 

Western Region

 

Jim Reese

jamereese@pa.gov

North Central Region

 

Joe Bass

jobass@pa.gov

South East Region

 

Vacant

(Coming Soon)








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 an apprenticeship. From there we will ensure we either answer your questions or get you to the correct regional representative.

Director

 

Tara Loew

tloew@pa.gov

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

Workforce Development Supervisor

 

Cristie DeWitt

cridewitt@pa.gov

Performs and supervises the day to day activities of ATR field staff and serves a variety of outreach, promotional, compliance management and technical advisory duties.

Grants & Stats Development Program Manager

 

Sam Primak

sprimak@pa.gov

Managers the day-to-day program management of grants and statistical data development.

Administrative Support

 

Nukea Finley

nfinley@pa.gov

Provides administrative support to the Apprenticeship and Training Office, staff,
and partners.  

Pre-Apprenticeship Manager

 

Vacant

(Coming Soon)

Serves as the main representative for Registered Pre-Apprenticeship within the Commonwealth and is responsible for managing, directing and performing a wide-range of administrative tasks. 


PA Apprenticeship and Training Council (PATC)


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 and 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 the Pennsylvania industry and to attract new industries. 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.


PATC Meeting Agendas & Notes

Newly Approved Registered Apprenticeship Programs



Council Members

Employee Members
​Employer Members
​Public Members
​Timothy Griffin
Council Co-Chairperson
Lisa Godlewski
Council Chairperson
Lisa Williams
​Robert Bair
Barry Kindt
Gregory A. Chambers
William McGee
Jon O'Brien​
Cheryl Feldman​
​Michael Neill
​Michael McGraw


Resources 


Important Terms and Abbreviations

ATO - Apprenticeship and Training Office, guides and promotes the expansion of apprenticeship programs across Pennsylvania.

ATR - Apprenticeship Training Representative, staff that assists partners develop and register apprenticeship programs

SAA - State Apprenticeship Agency, oversees the development and approval of apprenticeship programs

PATC - Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council, approves or denies proposed apprenticeship programs

PA CareerLink® - An initiative to connect Pennsylvanian job-seekers with employers

PAsmart - An initiative to connect Pennsylvanians with resources to work, learn, or train in the state