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“Apprenticeships hold great promise in helping American workers acquire the skills they need to get good jobs while ensuring companies can attract the talent required to succeed in this fast-moving global economy.”

--Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta

Expanding Apprenticeships in America

In 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $175 million in American Apprenticeship Grants to 46 public-private partnerships, bringing together the efforts of employers, organized labor, non-profits, local governments, and educational institutions to expand high-quality apprenticeships. Grantees have pledged to train and hire more than 34,000 new apprentices in high-growth and high-tech industries including health care, IT and advanced manufacturing over the next five years.

The Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison & Oneida Counties was awarded $2.9 million to lead the Central NY Regional Apprenticeship Program. The grant is being used to create the first regional pre-apprenticeship program. Pre-apprenticeship will transition to new apprenticeship programs and increased participation in existing union-run apprenticeship programs. The program will serve 600 traditionally underserved populations in the State of New York.

On June 15, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) Expanding Apprenticeships in America.

“In today’s rapidly changing economy, it is more important than ever to prepare workers to fill both existing and newly created jobs and to prepare workers for the jobs of the future,” the EO states. “Apprenticeships provide paid, relevant workplace experiences and opportunities to develop skills that employers value.  Additionally, they provide affordable paths to good jobs and, ultimately, careers.”

“Since 2015, our grant has helped more than 40 companies across the central New York region train nearly 200 workers, and we’re far from done. However, we are only a temporary solution. Our grant expires in 2020, so there is no time to waste.”

--AAI Program Director Nate Crossett

Benefits of Apprenticeship

  • Helps recruit and develop a highly skilled workforce
  • Improves productivity and the bottom line
  • Provides opportunities for tax credits and employee tuition benefits in some states
  • Reduces turnover costs and increases employee retention
  • Creates industry driven and flexible training solutions to meet national and local needs
  • Allows workers to earn and learn at the same time

American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI)

The US Department of Labor is committed to creating more opportunities for hard-working Americans to get ahead by advancing job-driven training initiatives that help American workers acquire the skills they need to succeed in good jobs that are available now.

Hands-on apprenticeships, where workers earn and learn at the same time, are a proven path to good, secure middle-class jobs. In fact, statistics from the Department of Labor (DOL) show that 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average starting wage above $50,000.

The return on investment for employers is also impressive. DOL says that studies from around the globe suggest that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity, reduced waste and greater front-line innovation.

American Apprenticeship Grants will help expand apprenticeships into growing industries while also aligning apprenticeship with pathways for further learning and career advancement, scaling apprenticeship models that work, and providing access to apprenticeship for all of America's talent.

In Central New York, AAI is building a new sustainable regional pipeline specific to advanced manufacturing including nanotechnology, cybersecurity and unmanned vehicle systems. Providing more Americans with affordable access to education and job training opportunities will help grow the middle class while strengthening local businesses and bolstering the economy.

Participant Benefits

AAI helps high school and college students, disconnected youth, unemployed adults, minorities and veterans prepare for and secure apprenticeship opportunities. There is no charge to enroll in the program.

We provide opportunities for:

  • On-the-Job Learning
  • Job Related Technical/Classroom or Online Instruction
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Training

Employer Value

AAI helps companies registered in the apprenticeship program recruit, train, retain and develop a diverse workforce of skilled employees.  Apprenticeships create a pipeline of skilled workers to help employers prepare for the “grey tsunami,” mend the skills gap and bring their companies to the next level.

Employers who utilize apprentices report:

  • Higher productivity
  • Higher retention rates
  • A substantial return on investment

AAI can also help businesses set up an apprenticeship program!

This program is available to residents and businesses located in the following New York counties: Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, Schuyler, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins. 

Watch our Videos 

How the AAI grant program is helping Businesses:

How the AAI grant program is helping Apprentices:

How can I learn more about this program?

Contact your local AAI Program Staff at:

Working Solutions
209 Elizabeth St.
Utica, NY 13501

Nate Crossett, Program Director
Phone: (315) 798-5036

Jennifer McCullough, Apprenticeship Coordinator
Phone: (315) 798-5008

Michael Briggs, Pre-Apprenticeship Coordinator
Phone: (315) 798-5922

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AAI News & Program Updates

AAI in the News

American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) Mends the Pre-Apprenticeship Skills Gap

Trades offer opportunity - and a good paycheck

Apprenticeships popular again as workers turn to trades

AAI is Hiring

Outreach & Case Management position available. This is a two year grant opportunity, full time with benefits. 

View the Job Description and How to Apply

AAI Creates First-of-its-Kind Cyber Apprenticeship

AAI teamed up with the Air Force Research Lab and the Griffiss Institute in Rome, NY, to create a first-of-its-kind apprenticeship program for New York State in the emerging field of Information Technology/Cyber-Security. Dozens of students from across the country took part in the program, which we hope will become a model for future employers.

Read the News Release

Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit Program

Are you eligible?

The ESATC provides tax credits to certified New York State (NYS) Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program sponsors for hiring new qualified apprentices on or after January 1, 2018. The tax credit is available through 2022.

A certified employer will be entitled to tax credits against income or franchise tax for each qualified apprentice. Enhanced credits are available to employers that hire disadvantaged youth as apprentices. Additional credits are available to employers that provide apprentices with the support of a mentor. The ESATC may not be combined with any other state tax credit for the apprentice.

Who is Eligible to Apply for the ESATC Tax Credit?

To become certified, you must be a qualified employer. A qualified employer is a sponsor (or for group programs, approved participating signatory employers) of an active NYS RA program. If you are not already a NYS RA sponsor, you can contact the New York State Department of Labor to establish an RA program or contact AAI for help.

Find out More

Major Incentive Available

Registered Apprenticeships are a “global, tried, and true workforce development strategy,” says the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), which offers apprentices opportunities to earn a salary while learning the skills that businesses demand in a variety of occupations across industries.

To better respond to industry workforce demands, NYSDOL is making up to $4.1 million available until April 30, 2019, in order to expand and diversify Registered Apprenticeships (RA).The New York State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant offers eligible companies up to $5,000 per apprentice for training and/or associated costs.

Find out More

Pre-Apprenticeship Program - Free Education Opportunity

AAI's pre-apprenticeship program offers classes in Basic Safety and Fundamentals of Machining and other manufacturing trades, as well as soft-skills training.

Contact us to find out more about this program.

AACT – Round 2 Update

On March 23rd, some 12 apprentices, who were selected by local employers to participate in the AACT (Apprenticeship Accelerator Career Training), began their front apprenticeship instruction at OCC in Syracuse.

Once the apprentices have completed their front apprenticeship instruction at OCC, they are expected to begin employment with their employers.

Participating Employers:

·    Kilian

·    Selflock Screw

·    Bartell

·    Stickley

·    PPC

The apprentices will be paid $10.40 an hour during their training-- half from the employers and half from a JFF grant through MACNY.

An AAI grant will then support their continued related instruction when they begin working at their respective companies.

The AACT Program is a collaboration coordinated by OCC’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development. 

Training is provided by OCC and apprenticeship and project and employer support is provided by AAI, MACNY and Jobs for the Future.

Contact us to find out more about this program.


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