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Commissioner Harrington's Remarks Regarding National Apprenticeship Week

November 17, 2021


National Apprenticeship Week
November 17, 2021
Central Vermont Medical Center

Here in Vermont, the workforce challenge is not necessarily a new problem, but it is an urgent one that demands new and creative ways to fill our career pipelines and expand our working-age population – Because it’s not just about people. It’s about the RIGHT people with the RIGHT skills.


This week marks the 7th annual National Apprenticeship Week, which is a nationwide celebration of apprenticeships everywhere, and the significance these earn-while-you-learn programs have on building and retaining core talent. - - - The RIGHT people with the RIGHT skills.


The "Earn and Learn" training model of Registered Apprenticeship provides a unique combination of structured learning with on-the-job training from an assigned mentor. Related instruction, technical training or other certified training is provided by apprenticeship training centers, technical schools, community colleges, and real-world professionals. The goal? - - - to provide workers with advanced skillsets that meet the specific needs of employers.


Registered apprenticeships are mutually beneficial for both the apprentice and the employer. By allowing apprentices to earn wages while they learn means at the end of the apprenticeship, they’re ready to hit the ground running with an industry recognized credential and little to no debt. Over the course of an apprenticeship, participants have the potential to see their wages increase by an average of 25%, which means an apprentice whose starting wage was $18 will be earning close to $23 per hour by the time they’ve completed their program.


Upon completion of a Registered Apprenticeship program, participants receive an industry issued, nationally recognized credential that certifies occupational proficiency. These skills and certifications are transferable and provides a pathway to future education and career advancement.


Nationally, 92% of apprentices retain employment after earning their credential, making them an asset to any employer. In Vermont, there are over 300 registered apprenticeship programs spanning 35 different occupations. Including: Dental Assistant, Fish and Game Warden, LNA/LPN, telecommunications technician, Ski Lift Mechanic, Water Treatment Operator, aviation mechanic, and software developer, just to name a few.


Apprenticeships are a great option for everyone; not just those at the start of their career. In fact, in a recent program there was a 17-year-old apprentice working alongside a 65-year-old apprentice.


Whether you’re an employer looking to institute an apprenticeship program, or a job seeker looking to increase your skills, change careers, or start anew, the Department of Labor and the State of Vermont are here to help.


TODAY, we’re here to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, which is just one of Vermont’s efforts to find the right people and ensure they have the right skills to help Vermont’s economy grow. And personally, I cannot think of a better way to do that, than to highlight the LPN Pathway Program at CVMC and the State’s registered LPN and LNA apprenticeship program.


Thank you for being here, thank you to Vermont’s health care community for their hard work during this trying time, and thank you all for your commitment to Vermont’s workforce."