Media Highlights

Should the U.S. Promote Apprenticeships? (Yes.)

by Mark Edwards   •  

More and more states, as well as the federal government, are realizing just how important high-quality CTE and apprenticeships are to help young Americans get good jobs in growing industries and strengthen the economy.

A new initiative by Vice President Biden to promote apprenticeships as a pathway to a college degree will help youth and provide employers with trained talent in the process. This new consortium of colleges, employers and unions will make it easier for students to convert apprenticeship experience into valuable credit at community colleges and four-year schools. And President Obama today announced a “jobs-driven” approach that allocates $600 million in competitive grants to help the academic world meet business’ workforce needs.


Opportunity Nation Steering Committee Member Seattle Colleges is “thrilled to see the national focus on apprenticeships,” an often-overlooked, but powerful path, to the middle class.

State and local policy makers, however, know the best ideas don’t necessarily come from Washington, DC and are boldly moving forward with their own CTE reform ideas.  For example, in California, a bill was introduced that would create the Apprenticeship Innovation Prize, which would be awarded to school districts and community colleges to promote apprenticeships and career pathways. The bill references Opportunity Nation and the growing number of young adults who are not connected to work or school.

Students in high-quality CTE programs and apprenticeships will be better positioned to fill the looming five million “middle skill” jobs shortage projected by 2020. And studies show that Americans with an associate’s degree or better earn more than Americans with just a high school diploma.

Improving CTE programs and increasing apprenticeships should be a no-brainer. Lend your support to state bills and federal initiatives that expand access to the American Dream. 

tweet-graphic Good for young people. Good for the economy. @VP, I support #CTE reform & apprenticeships. Via @oppnation #SkillsGap


Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards is the founder and co-chair of Opportunity Nation. Read Mark's bio.

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