Massachusetts Apprenticeship Career Pathways Project

Young business woman outside office building

In 2020, AIR partnered with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) to create an Apprenticeship Career Pathways Framework and related resources. Through this work, EOLWD sought to provide clear information to students, parents, job seekers, educators and academic advisors, and career coaches about the education, training, and credential requirements associated with key occupations in career pathways, as well as to enhance the integration and use of Registered Apprenticeship as a powerful workforce tool in the broader workforce development and education systems.

Apprenticeship, as a critical component of robust career pathways, provides students, job seekers, and workers with a combination of related technical instruction and on-the-job paid work experience.

Integration of apprenticeship programs into a state’s education and workforce systems can result in more comprehensive career pathways that benefit both businesses and workers.

AIR first developed a comprehensive Apprenticeship Career Pathways Framework to serve as a resource for Massachusetts’ efforts to expand Registered Apprenticeship and other work-based learning models in the state. The Framework outlines the Commonwealth’s vision and goals for advancing individuals’ progression along career pathways in critical industry sectors through application of the resources and practices developed under the project.

Next, building on state and regional career pathways efforts across Massachusetts and incorporating industry, occupational, and labor market data, AIR developed a set of career pathway maps for four key industry sectors–information technology, healthcare, manufacturing, and construction. The pathways integrate apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships available in the state, link to detailed occupation descriptions, identify high-growth and apprenticeable positions, and include compensation ranges.

Additionally, AIR developed a set of related “how-to” resources designed to provide a wide range of individuals and organizations with additional information to help them understand and use the career pathways maps.

  • Registered Apprenticeship and Career Pathways in Massachusetts is designed for educators, workforce service providers, and employers and other sponsors of Registered Apprenticeship programs. This resource describes how apprenticeship can be used to build stronger and more robust career pathways that result in increased skills, higher wages, and advancement opportunities for workers and a highly-skilled and experienced workforce for employers.
  • Using the Apprenticeship Pathways Resources with Students, Job Seekers, and Workers is designed for teachers, guidance counselors, career coaches, and case managers. This resource equips staff to guide and support their student, job seeker, and worker customers in understanding the labor market landscape, exploring careers, developing employment and career advancement plans, and pursuing relevant education and training.

Through this work, AIR provided important support for EOLWD’s ongoing efforts to expand Registered Apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and other work-based learning models as central strategies in the state’s education and workforce development efforts.