About the Study
In 2022, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) partnered with the Employment and Training Administration to fund contractor the Urban Institute and its partners Mathematica and Social Policy Research Associates to conduct the Evaluating Registered Apprenticeship Initiatives. The Evaluation aims build and share evidence about registered apprenticeship initiatives through evaluating strategies under the Apprenticeship Building America (ABA) grants program, conducting an impact and cost-benefit evaluability assessment of pre-registered apprenticeship programs that lead to registered apprenticeship programs (RAPs), and coordinating across the portfolio of projects at CEO to facilitate sharing of findings, methods, and learning about apprenticeship broadly across research teams.
The Apprenticeship Building America grant program advances the department’s efforts to expand and modernize Registered Apprenticeship by increasing the number of programs and apprentices, diversifying the industries that use Registered Apprenticeship and improving the access to and performance of Registered Apprenticeship Programs for underrepresented and underserved communities. Funding was awarded in four categories: (1) State Apprenticeship System Building and Modernization; (2) Expansion of Registered Apprenticeship Program Opportunities for Youth; (3) Ensuring Equitable Registered Apprenticeship Program Pathways through Pre-Apprenticeship Leading to RAP enrollment and Equity Partnerships; (4) Registered Apprenticeship Hubs to facilitate the establishment, scaling and expansion of Registered Apprenticeship Programs in new and fast-growing industries and occupations.
This Department of Labor-funded study contributes to the labor evidence-base to inform apprenticeship programs and policies and addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.
Apprenticeship Building America Implementation Study Design: Youth Apprenticeship and Pre-apprenticeship Study (Evaluation Design Report, September 2023)
A Review of the Literature on Registered Apprenticeships: Evaluating Registered Apprenticeship Initiatives (Literature Review, September 2023)
Implementation Study of State Apprenticeship System Building & Modernization
- In what ways did grantees expand registered apprenticeships? What was the planning process states used to prioritize objectives and modernize systems?
- What types of partners did grantees work with to meet the goals of the grant? What were the roles and responsibilities of these partners and how did they contribute to meeting the goals of the grant?
- What strategies did grantees use to increase equity in access to RAPs? How did grantees perceive differences in strategies affecting gaps, barriers, and opportunities?
- What types of state-level system changes were associated with grantee efforts?
- What are promising strategies from stakeholder perspectives that merit bringing to scale?
Implementation Evaluation of Strategies to Expand Registered Apprenticeship Opportunities for Youth and Strategies for Equitable RAP Pathways Through Pre-apprenticeship that Lead to Registered Apprenticeships
- What are the components of existing models of pre-apprenticeship programs that lead to RAPs? How do the components of those funded under this grant program differ from existing pre-apprenticeship programs?
- How do the goals and intended outcomes of pre-apprenticeship programs vary?
- What strategies are used to implement pre-apprenticeship programs? Which strategies appear to be most successful?
- What strategies appear to have been promising in growing the number of pre-apprenticeship programs, with a focus on pre-apprenticeship programs that articulate to RAPS as a part of a career pathway?
- What types of partners did grantees work with to meet the goals of the grant? What were their roles and responsibilities and how did they contribute to meeting the goals of the grant?
- What are some perceived promising practices for working with industries/sectors, types of employers (such as large or small businesses), and other key stakeholders? How does this compare with prior apprenticeship studies?
- What are the completion rates and wages for participants in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs? How do these completion rates and wages differ by various subgroups, including underrepresented populations?
- In what ways did grantees expand and/or create new registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs for youth?
- What strategies have been associated with increasing the participation of youth (16-24) in RAPs and pre-apprenticeship programs that lead to RAPs?
Implementation Evaluation of Registered Apprenticeship Hubs (RAH)
- In what ways did grantees expand and/or create new RAPs through RAH? What was the planning process grantees used to prioritize goals, objectives, and industries?
- What strategies are RAHs using in engaging with industry and employers? What role did industry and employers play in meeting the goals of the grant? What strategies do grantees perceive to be promising?
- To what extent are RAHs working to advance equity in both traditional and new and emerging sectors and occupations?
- What strategies are RAHs using to outreach about their services? To what extent are those strategies associated with increased use of RAH services?
- What TA activities are RAHs engaging in to help bolster or expand registered apprenticeships? What are practices that stakeholders perceive as promising?
- In what ways are RAH’s TA activities and services helping customers? What are customer perceived benefits and challenges?
Despite recent evidence of the positive effects of apprenticeship, many questions remain about whether benefits are consistent across industries, employers, workers, and program models. Additionally, there is little rigorous evidence regarding the impact of pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship programs, programs developed through community colleges and other intermediaries, and effective strategies to increase diversity among apprentices. DOL has funded research studies, including the ABA evaluation, that will build evidence on some of these aspects of apprenticeship, and more information will be available in the next few years as those studies release findings.
Evaluation Design Report
Kuehn, D. (2023). Urban Institute. Apprenticeship Building America Implementation Study Design: Youth Apprenticeship and Pre-apprenticeship Study. Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor.
Butrica, B.A., Jones, E., Rosenberg, L., Sattar, S., Sotelo, V. (2023). Urban Institute. A Review of the Literature on Registered Apprenticeships: Evaluating Registered Apprenticeship Initiatives. Chief Evaluation Office, U.S. Department of Labor.
Project Duration: 60 Months
Contract End Date: June 2027
Contractor: Urban Institute
For More Information: ChiefEvaluationOffice@dol.gov
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.