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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Announces First Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Raytheon Technologies as the first Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP), a major milestone in this Administration’s goal to expand apprenticeships and create more job opportunities for American workers. The National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS) serves as the Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) overseeing Raytheon’s program. NIMS was recognized by the Department on Sept. 23, 2020, as one of the first SREs under the Administration’s new IRAP rule.

This announcement follows a recent meeting on Sept. 25, 2020, where U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia visited the NIMS headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, to discuss apprenticeship expansion with NIMS Executive Director Montez King and representatives of the inaugural cohort of 18 SREs.  

The Department’s Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch joined the Secretary and the first cohort of SREs, along with Vice President of Operations at Raytheon Missiles & Defense Allen Couture – a Raytheon Technologies business – and a RTX machine operator apprentice.

Additionally, Secretary Scalia participated in a virtual roundtable discussion with all 18 SREs to discuss the future of IRAPs and how SREs will now begin to work with employers and other entities to establish, recognize, and monitor high-quality IRAPs to provide apprentices with industry-recognized credentials.

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

“NIMS is proud to be one of the first SREs and even more so to be able to recognize the first IRAP at Raytheon,” said National Institute of Metalworking Skills’ Executive Director Montez King. “We appreciate the work that's been done to ensure employers are the ones determining what training approach best suits their needs, and that is exactly what this approach does.”

“Manufacturing and metalwork jobs are fundamental drivers of the American economy,” said Vice President of Operations at Raytheon Missiles & Defense Allen Couture. “Our partnership with NIMS on the development of a tailored, competency-based apprenticeship program ensures this critical workforce has the necessary training and re-skilling opportunities to build advanced systems that will protect our citizens, warfighters and infrastructure well into the future.”

SREs are third-party industry and workforce leaders that evaluate and recognize high-quality IRAPs, consistent with standards set by the Department. The 18 SREs announced last week were recognized following a rigorous review from the Department to ensure that they have the capacity and quality-assurance procedures needed to monitor IRAPs. SRE recognition is valid for five years.

For more information about each SRE, please visit:

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 Employment and Training Administration administers Federal government job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems.

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
October 1, 2020
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Media Contact: Megan Sweeney
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