The week of Nov. 12-18 marks the fourth National Apprenticeship Week, highlighting the value of registered apprenticeship to Virginia’s workforce.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a proclamation citing the vital importance of registered apprenticeship to Virginia’s economy. The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board and its partners are celebrating the week with a series of events to showcase the impact of apprenticeship on businesess, individuals, and communities.
The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board has been spotlighted by the U. S. Department of Labor for leading workforce initiatives that include innovative apprenticeship models. Through a $4 million American Apprenticeship Initiative grant received from the U.S. Department of Labor, SVWDB developed the Valley to Virginia (V2V) American Apprenticehsip Initiative, that focuses on expanding apprenticeship to address workforce shortages in Virginia and on opening apprenticeship pathways for underrepresented individuals. V2V has been highlighted by DOL for its grant performance and enrichments to the apprenticeship model. V2V is currently working with 81 employer sponsors of the registered apprenticeship training model, and has enrolled 680 new registered apprentices in the grant.
In September 2018, Dr. Sharon Johnson, CEO for the SVWDB presented at the “On-The-Job: Rebuilding the Workforce through Apprenticeships” session as a panelist for the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Innovations reported included a “boot camp” developed to enhance qualifications of candidates for The Hershey Company’s Stuarts Draft based Industrial Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship program and Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC)’s pre-apprenticeship program for individuals with disabilities.
Registered apprenticeship has evolved to incorporate in-house company trainers, competency based advancement, accelerated learning models, and youth apprenticeship in high school. Over 1000 diverse occupations exist in traditional trades as well as cybersecurity, healthcare, transportation, and other industries.
Shenandoah Valley 2018 National Apprenticeship Week activities
Monday, Nov. 12
Signing Day: Hershey Chocolate of Virginia will register over 30 Industrial Manufacturing Technician apprentices supported by the V2V Grant – SVWDB.
Tuesday, Nov. 13
Workforce Solutions Symposium: The Virginia Manufacturers Association will host the “Workforce: The Competitive Edge,” symposium at Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, VA. This event will draw on manufacturers from 19 states as well as economic developers and technical educators to share innovative workforce practices and ideas. Debby Hopkins, Chief Workforce Officer and V2V Director for the SVWDB, will participate on an apprenticeship workforce panel moderated by Rick Sizemore, WWRC.
In-Demand Jobs: WHSV-TV3, in collaboration with the SVWDB, will reboot a popular feature originally created in conjunction with the Shenandoah Valley Partnership, which highlights careers and apprenticeships in the Shenandoah Valley. In-Demand Jobs will begin airing on WHSV-TV3, Harrisonburg, Virginia, during National Apprenticeship Week, kicked off by a 1:1 interview with Bob Corso and Sharon Johnson on November 13, 2018.
Career Café: An information session about apprenticeships will be held at Wilson Memorial High School’s Career Cafe featuring speakers Arnold Perry of Hershey Chocolate of Virginia and Faith Clayton, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry.
Wednesday, Nov. 14
Massanutten Technical Center(MTC) Employer Luncheon: This event will highlight Youth Apprenticeship, with speaker Faith Clayton, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Apprenticeship Consultant, Sandy Rinker with MTC, and SVWDB’s Debby Hopkins.
Thursday, Nov. 15
Panel: “Apprentices View of Hershey’s Boot Camp and Registered Apprenticeship” with three apprentices from Hershey speaking to the SVWDB Board of Directors.
Employer Luncheon at Valley Career & Technical Center: The topic for this event will be “Apprenticeship: The Siemens Experience” with keynote speaker Roger Collins, Apprenticeship Director for Siemens, Charlotte, NC. Employers, workforce professionals, and educators will learn how Siemens used apprenticeship to develop a qualified candidate pool to support its new manufacturing plant in NC. Additional speakers will be Scott Gochenour, Valley Career & Technical Center, Todd Cook, Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, and SVWDB’s Debby Hopkins.