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Apprenticeship Works for Small Business

In business, it's talent that drives innovation. To grow and thrive in today's economy, employers in all industries need a highly skilled workforce. Now, more and more businesses of all sizes are discovering a proven strategy for building one: apprenticeship.

Combining classroom instruction with on-the-job training, apprenticeships help bridge skills gaps and attract new and more diverse talent into the workplace, including people with disabilities and others. Today apprenticeships are increasingly found in not only traditional trades, such as construction, but also emerging industries.

In this spirit, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recently announced the development of a series of pilot projects focused on apprenticeship opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities in high-growth sectors. These pilots will specifically focus on quality pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship opportunities in information technology, health care and other areas with projected labor shortages.

ODEP also offers several resources to help businesses, including small businesses, develop disability-inclusive apprenticeship programs. These include the "Apprenticeship Works" video, which features interviews with representatives from four organizations who manage or sponsor disability-inclusive apprenticeship programs in a variety of fields, and a guide titled Apprenticeship Works for Business.

Additional information for businesses interested in apprenticeship, including the different types of programs and how to start them, is available at Apprenticeship.gov. Whatever form a program takes, apprenticeship can help prime a business for growth by ensuring a pipeline of talent for years to come.

For additional news and resources, sign up for ODEP's e-mail updates.