Registered Apprenticeship Occupations and Standards Center of Excellence

Business colleagues in a meeting

While there is growing interest in scaling up the use of apprenticeships in the U.S., the competencies and program standards that are the building blocks for designing apprenticeships are not widely available. The lack of industry-vetted occupational standards and easy access to examples of apprenticeship program standards from across the country are a challenge for the expansion of apprenticeship, particularly into new occupations and industry sectors.

To address this challenge, the U.S. Department of Labor selected the Urban Institute to establish the Registered Apprenticeship Occupations and Standards Center of Excellence. AIR is partnering with the Urban Institute to advance the Center of Excellence’s goal to build a “gold standard” infrastructure of national occupational frameworks and a new online collection of standards freely available for public use.

The Center of Excellence has launched these two resources, which are helping to accelerate the expansion of high-quality apprenticeship programs across industry sectors:

  • A Registered Apprenticeship Standards Library – A free, easy-to-search, online resource that is a central repository of approved apprenticeship program standards from across the country.
  • National Occupational Frameworks – Blueprints for building apprenticeship programs, including occupation overviews, comprehensive lists of competencies, and outlines for apprentices’ on-the job learning and related coursework.

As a partner on the Center of Excellence, AIR is:

  • Helping the Urban Institute develop and implement dissemination strategies that promote and amplify the availability of the Registered Apprenticeship Standards Library and the National Occupational Frameworks;
  • Designing and delivering virtual trainings and other events for government, business, workforce, education, and other partners to increase understanding and use of the tools; and
  • Creating diversified technical assistance resources that help apprenticeship professionals incorporate the use of the tools into their work to advance apprenticeship.