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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Announces First Group of Standards Recognition Entities for Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs

WASHINGTON, DC – As a critical part of the Administration’s efforts to expand access to in-demand job opportunities, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced that it has recognized an initial 18 organizations as Standards Recognition Entities (SREs) to oversee the development of high-quality Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).

SREs are third party industry and workforce leaders that will evaluate and recognize high-quality IRAPs consistent with the Department’s standards. The 18 SREs are the first group of SREs to receive recognition under new regulations the Department published earlier this year to expand apprenticeship opportunities in industries where apprenticeships have been underutilized. The recognition of these entities follows a rigorous review from the Department to ensure that they have the capacity and quality-assurance procedures needed to monitor IRAPs. SREs can now begin to work with employers and other entities to establish, recognize and monitor high-quality IRAPs that provide apprentices with industry-recognized credentials. SRE recognition is valid for five years.

“Standards Recognition Entities are the foundation for Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said. “The entities we recognize today will enable companies in industries like healthcare, advanced manufacturing, information technology, and many others better tailor their apprenticeship programs to fit the particular needs of their workforces.”

“Expanding apprenticeships means more job opportunities for American workers,” Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training John Pallasch said. “During this time of economic change, it’s important to create better access to good-paying careers for America’s workforce.” 

Many different types of entities may be recognized SREs, including trade groups, companies, educational institutions, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, unions, joint labor-management organizations, and certification and accreditation bodies for a profession or industry. This first cohort of SREs includes a diverse array of organizations representing accreditation bodies, community colleges, employers, industry associations, state agencies and workforce development agencies. SREs have been approved to recognize IRAPs nationally or statewide in 20 industries, with many representing sectors where apprenticeship opportunities are not widespread. In addition, SREs have been approved to recognize IRAPs in nearly 130 occupations with numerous related industry-recognized credentials.

The Department’s announcement of this inaugural SRE cohort marks the culmination of the Department’s work in response to the recommendations of 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. Since Jan. 1, 2017, over 800,000 individuals have found employment through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships have a proven track record of producing strong results for both employers and workers. Apprenticeships are pathways to good paying jobs in high-growth and emerging industries; allow workers to learn while they earn; provide an average starting salary of $70,000 for people who complete apprenticeship programs; and have strong retention rates with more than 90 percent of apprentices remaining employed after they have completed their training.    

The 18 organizations newly recognized as SREs 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);
  • FANUC-ROCKWELL SRE (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); and
  • WTIA Workforce Consulting (National).

For more information about each SRE, please visit:

Entities that are interested in seeking recognition from the Department to serve as an SRE can submit an application online at any time. Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis. To be considered in the next review cycle, applications must be received by 11:59 PM on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2020. Determinations of the next review cycle will be made within approximately 90 days of that date.

The Department remains committed to fulfilling critical workforce needs and addressing the workforce-related impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Strategies like apprenticeship that are innovative, flexible and responsive to the needs of American employers and workers will be essential to addressing the workforce-related impact of the pandemic. 

For more information, please visit

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Employment and Training Administration
September 23, 2020
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Media Contact: Megan Sweeney
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