Employment Training Panel Announces New Labor Apprenticeship Partnership

Now is the perfect time to support apprenticeship programs in California.  There will be a need for green-skilled workers as the economy improves and as California seeks to meet new green policies and goals. The significant decrease in Montoya funds, as well as a decrease in employer contributions resulting from the bad economy, means we need more investment in apprenticeship training right away.

Fortunately, on Friday, March 23rd, the California Employment Training Panel (ETP) approved guidelines that will enable the Panel to fund apprenticeship training for the first time in more than 16 years, expanding on the journey-level upgrade and pre-apprenticeship training it had previously been funding. The Panel also announced that it will work in partnership with the California Labor Federation and the State Building and Construction Trades Council to assist ETP in building awareness of the program among the state’s Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs) and advise ETP on program evaluation measures and potential program refinements. 

The ETP is a business- and labor-supported state agency that assists employers in strengthening their competitive edge by providing funds to off-set the cost of job skills training necessary to maintain high-performance workplaces. It is estimated that ETP will have $7 million in the 2012-13 budget to fund apprenticeship programs.

The new guidelines create an Apprentice Training Pilot program for classroom and simulated laboratory training.  Under the pilot, ETP funding will allow a Joint Apprentice Training Committee (JATC) or other program sponsors to supplement limited state Montoya Funds for the Related and Supplemental Instruction (RSI) portion of apprentice training. 

A draft of the program indicates that ETP will cover the following:

  • 144 hours of Related and Supplemental Instruction (RSI) training will be funded for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year apprentices, with a $300,000 cap on the first round of funding.
  • Division of Apprenticeship Standards-approved JATCs are eligible and curriculum must be DAS-approved.
  • Assuming that Montoya funds will continue to cover some of the cost of training, ETP’s estimated reimbursement is slated to be around $13/hour of training.  
  • ETP work retention rules apply.

The $7 million will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  If each program received a maximum of $300,000 grant, the funds would cover 28 programs.  Applications will be due by May 1st, so that they may be processed in time for the July ETP Panel Hearing. Visit the ETP website for detailed program guidelines.

Labor unions interested in finding out more and applying for the new program are strongly encouraged to contact the California Labor Federation’s Workforce and Economic Development Program. CLF is able to help JATCs complete their application for free so that JATCs do not pay expensive consultants to apply for these funds.

For more information, contact Jan Borunda at jborunda@calaborfed.org.