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P.R. Dept. of Labor gets $200K for apprenticeships

At podium, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Pérez, flanked by President Barack Obama.

At podium, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Pérez, flanked by President Barack Obama.

The Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources is getting $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor through the “ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grants” program to expand and expedite registered apprenticeship programs nationwide.

In all, the federal agency is awarding $10.4 million to 51 states and territories, and the District of Columbia. The recipients must use the funding to to help integrate apprenticeship into their education and workforce systems; engage industry and other partners to expand apprenticeship to new sectors and new populations at scale; conduct outreach and work with employers to start new programs; promote greater inclusion and diversity in apprenticeship, and implement state incentives and system reforms.

These grants are part of ApprenticeshipUSA, the department’s coordinated effort with industry and education leaders, nonprofits, and local governments to highlight the benefits of apprenticeship and expand the use of this time-tested, earn-while-you-learn model.

Apprenticeships “are a proven path to high quality, secure middle-class jobs,” the agency said. Some 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average starting wage above $50,000 per year.

The return on investment for employers is substantial, as studies indicate that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers receive average of $1.47 return in increased productivity, reduced waste and greater front-line innovation, the federal agency noted.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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