Developing a Skilled Workforce Pipeline via Apprenticeship Initiatives and Career Development Programs.

Evmark Business Solutions

“Creating a Skilled Workforce: The Importance of Apprenticeships and Career Pathways Programs in Building a Talented Pipeline of Workers for the Future”

On November 17, 2023, the Department of Commerce’s Secretary Gina Raimondo delivered virtual remarks at a National Apprenticeship Week event hosted by Metaverse. In her speech, she emphasized the Biden Administration’s commitment to investing in America’s workforce by creating direct pathways to well-paying jobs. This is in line with the administration’s “Investing in America” agenda, which includes over a trillion dollars in investments in infrastructure, clean energy, and manufacturing.

One crucial aspect of workforce development is the manufacturing sector, particularly in the production of semiconductors or chips. With the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, the Commerce Department is overseeing $50 billion to revitalize the U.S. semiconductor industry and build a domestic workforce. This is essential as the manufacturing sector offers high-wage jobs for workers without college degrees. However, industry estimates show that by 2030, there will be a shortage of 300,000 engineers and 90,000 technical workers.

To address this shortage, Secretary Raimondo has called on semiconductor companies to collaborate with high schools and community colleges to train 100,000 new technicians over the next decade through apprenticeships, career and technical education, and career pathway programs. She has also urged colleges and universities to triple the number of graduates in semiconductor-related fields, including engineering.

In addition to the Secretary’s remarks, Department of Commerce Senior Counselor Zoe Baird joined Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and Domestic and Policy Advisor to the President Neera Tanden at a graduation ceremony for students who completed apprenticeship programs. Through the Registered Apprenticeship program, young people are provided with good jobs, and employers are provided with skilled, entry-level employees.

During the ceremony, Senior Counselor Baird congratulated the students and stressed the importance of choosing careers in the semiconductor or chip manufacturing industry. She highlighted how these apprentices will play a crucial role in building high-tech semiconductor factories and working inside them to research, develop, and produce chips that will keep the United States at the forefront of technology and protect national security.

The Department of Commerce is committed to investing in America’s workforce and building a skilled and diverse pipeline of workers. Through apprenticeships and career pathways programs, we can provide individuals with the necessary skills and training to secure well-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector. This will not only benefit workers but also contribute to the growth and competitiveness of the U.S. economy.  

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