READOUT: Acting Secretary of Labor Su, Secretary of Education Cardona, White House officials celebrate youth apprentices at graduation ceremony
WASHINGTON – At Department of Labor’s headquarters in Washington today, Acting Secretary Julie Su, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Domestic Policy Advisor to the President Neera Tanden, Department of Commerce Senior Counselor Zoe Baird, and other public and private sector leaders gathered to kick off National Apprenticeship Week 2023 with a graduation ceremony for students who recently completed apprenticeship programs.
Acting Secretary Su and Secretary Cardona congratulated more than 25 recent graduates who received certificates and crossed the stage to applause from their families, apprenticeship program sponsors and employers. The graduates represented apprentices in a cross-section of high-growth industries that included education, construction, IT and cybersecurity, healthcare and advanced manufacturing. Tanden and Baird also offered congratulatory remarks to the graduates.
“Registered Apprenticeships use proven strategies that help connect young people with good jobs and provide employers with skilled, entry-level employees,” explained Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “The apprenticeship program graduates we honored here today at the Department of Labor remind us how these programs change peoples’ lives, creating a brighter future for them and for our nation.”
Leading up to today’s kick-off event, President Biden issued a proclamation on National Apprenticeship Week on Nov. 9, 2023. During the ceremony, Acting Secretary Su announced the first cohort of youth Apprentice Trailblazers, part of an initiative launched in August 2023, and revealed the department’s plans for the first National Youth Apprenticeship Week, scheduled from May 5 to 11, 2024.
“Apprenticeships are opportunity multipliers. Keep learning and pay it forward, using your voice to inspire the next generation,” Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona exclaimed. “By sharing your stories, you can elevate apprenticeships in your community and be a champion for economic opportunity.”
The event also included a live discussion in which the department’s Senior Advisor for Employment and Training Manny Lamarre talked with a recently graduated apprentice and their parent about their experience.
The event was one of more than 1,300 events and resolutions planned from Nov. 13 to 19 to highlight the value and importance of Registered Apprenticeships. The learn-as-you-earn model provides youth and others with work-based and experiential learning and creates career pathways to good-paying jobs and equips them for career success. Registered Apprenticeships also offer employers with a talent pipeline of entry-level workers to support their workforce development needs and strengthen their communities’ economies.