Boston – August 20, 2019 – JFF, a national nonprofit driving transformation in the American workforce and education systems, today announced that it has received more than $16 million in new funding from public and private awards to create and scale real-world training opportunities through a major expansion of its Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning.

Faced with a shortage of skilled labor driven by baby boomer retirements and steep tuition costs that prevent many young people from pursuing college educations, employers and policymakers are looking beyond standard hiring practices. Instead, employers are turning to youth apprenticeships, high school-based Registered Apprenticeships, and other forms of work-based learning (WBL) to prepare youth and younger adults for the future of work.

“In an era where skill and equity gaps abound, apprenticeship provides employers with a powerful means of engaging untapped talent. These opportunities allow for youth and young adults to develop the skills they need to thrive in many of today’s fastest-growing fields,” said Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF. “This work is about providing the technical know-how and resources to scale programs that work while creating career pathways for individuals who are being left behind by economic growth.”

The Center received a total of three new awards to:

  • Drive the Expansion of High School-Based Registered Apprenticeships: A five-year, $9.7 million contract from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) will back the Center’s partnerships with CareerWise Colorado and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York to build both the capacity and number of high-quality Registered Apprenticeship programs serving high school students. The funding will enable the Center and its partners to provide high-impact technical services and financial assistance to more than 50 sites that make up the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA)
  • Enroll 500 Opportunity Youth in Apprenticeships: A three-year, $5.6 million contract from the ETA will fund the Center’s efforts to expand Registered Apprenticeship programs for opportunity youth—the 4.69 million people between the ages of 18 and 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor working. In partnership with the National Association of Workforce Boards, the District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, and Social Policy Research Associates, JFF will enroll more than 500 opportunity youth in Registered Apprenticeship programs in high-growth industries, such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, health care, and the building trades.
  • Design and Implement Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: A recommitment of more than $1 million from Salesforce will fund the Center’s work in the expansion of apprenticeship programs in Indiana and California, the design and implementation of pre-apprenticeship programs for the information technology industry, and the identification of promising assessment tools designed to help employers recruit apprentices.

“In today’s rapidly evolving labor market, we must rethink traditional pathways from high school to career,” said Ebony Beckwith, executive vice president  and chief philanthropy officer, Salesforce. “JFF’s technical expertise, agility,  and familiarity working across sectors puts them in an ideal position to design, implement, and scale high-impact programs, and we’re proud to support their mission.”

Launched in 2017, the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning provides network and advisory services, training, and resources to employers, policymakers, and workforce development organizations as part of JFF’s strategic offerings. For more information, visit JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning.

About JFF: JFF is a national nonprofit working to drive transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. Join us as we build a future that works. www.jff.org

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