DENVER — The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a partnership with the Colorado Community College System to help develop a new apprenticeship model for the country. Apprenticeships are viewed as a way to train new and existing employees outside of a typical classroom setting.

Trinidad State and 12 other community colleges in Colorado will work with 17 other organizations across the country to develop Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs.  Eventually the model will lead to college credit for apprenticeships as well as industry-recognized credentials. Currently emphasis will focus on Manufacturing, Information Technology, Real Estate/Rental and Leasing, Healthcare and Social Assistance.

Apprenticeships are generally “learn while you earn” programs combining on-the-job-training at a business with job related instruction. Usually participants see increased wages as their skills increase. Apprentices may be new hires, or current employees who are learning new skills.

“This approval will allow us to aggressively scale apprenticeship development across our 13 colleges,” said Michael Macklin, associate vice chancellor of workforce development at the Colorado Community College System. “We applaud USDOL in their swift support and vision that aligns with our goals to create innovative pathways for students to achieve a fulfilling career and increasing our state’s economic vibrancy.”

The Department of Labor announcement marks the culmination of their work in response to recommendations from the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. Created under President Trump’s Executive Order to Expand Apprenticeships in America issued on June 15, 2017, the 20-member Task Force, headed by the Secretary of Labor and co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and Education, expanded upon the Administration’s commitment to apprenticeship development and expansion.

“This is a game changer for Colorado’s ability to reimagine workforce training and to connect much needed talent with employers,” said Rollie Heath, chair of the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. “CCCS is uniquely positioned as the state’s largest provider of higher education and workforce training to spearhead this important work.”

The 18 organizations newly recognized as Standard Recognition Entities are:


— AED Foundation (National)

— Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (Alabama)

— American Nurses Credentialing Center Practice Transition Accreditation Program® (National)

— ANSI National Accreditation Board (National)

— Apprenticeship Missouri (Missouri)

— ApprenticeshipNC (North Carolina)

— Colorado Community College System (Colorado);

— Energy Sector Security Consortium INC (National)


— FASTPORT (National;

— Franklin Apprenticeships (National)

— Iowa Department of Education (Iowa)

— Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (Indiana)

— National Institute for Metalworking Skills (National)

— Peregrine Technical Solutions (National)

— Smart Automation Certification Alliance (National)

— Texas Workforce Commission (Texas)

— WTIA Workforce Consulting (National)

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