Hill Celebrates Grant for Apprenticeships in Arkansas
Little Rock, Ark. — The U.S. Department of Labor awarded $450,000 to the State of Arkansas to support activities that improve its ability to serve, improve, and expand the Registered Apprenticeship Program model by strengthening the national apprenticeship system, promoting system alignment and partnership, and improving data sharing and data integrity.
“As the Co-Chair of the American Skilled Worker Caucus in Congress, I know the important role skilled job play creating good jobs in Arkansas and sustaining Arkansas families, but I still hear from employers regularly about challenges filling important and good-paying jobs because of the ‘skills gap,’ which accounts for nearly six million unfilled jobs in the United States,” said Congressman French Hill (AR-02). “The Registered Apprenticeship Program is an excellent opportunity for young people to combine on-the-job training with relevant classroom education because this program provides workers and students with different types of paid training that match the demand of our diverse job market.”
“We thank Congressman Hill for his continued support of expanding and promoting apprenticeship opportunities for Arkansans. This is a very exciting time to be a part of building Arkansas apprenticeships as we have witnessed significant growth in not only interest but also in participation. Since the creation of the Office of Skills Development (OSD), apprenticeship in Arkansas has increased from roughly 3,000 apprentices across the state to over 6,500, representing an increase from 82 to 144 Registered Apprenticeship Programs and 644 active employers, many of which have a national footprint,” said Dr. Dawn Hamby, Director, Office of Apprenticeship.
“The funding that will now be available through the U.S. Department of Labor's Building State Capacity to Expand Apprenticeship through Innovation grant will play an important role in our efforts. These grant funds will include the development of a new database for the State Office of Apprenticeship at OSD that will help us streamline efficiencies, reduce redundancies, and give students access to a log-in portal for the first time, which will allow them to check on their apprenticeship hours at any time. Additionally, it will allow OSD to enhance the Arkansas Apprenticeship website that will now become the hub of apprenticeship information for employers, career seekers, students, and other stakeholders interested in apprenticeship,” said Cody Waits, Director, Office of Skills Development.