One of things I’ve learned over the years is the importance of partnerships and working together in achieving common goals that benefit all parties. It’s the “we are all in this together” mentality. An important partnership for ApprenticeshipNH and the Community College System of NH is with the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA), Adult Worker Program administered by Southern NH Services. WIOA provides eligible adults with professional career counseling and access to a wide range of employment and training related services.
Prior to joining ApprenticeshipNH as the Western Hub Developer, I was the WIOA Career Navigator for the Keene Area, and then eventually the entire Western Region of NH for over ten years. I had been with WIOA during the recession and through the first few years of the Covid-19 pandemic, seeing the labor market shift from high to low unemployment. When unemployment is low, it becomes more of a challenge for employers to find qualified applicants, and WIOA was faced with declining enrollments as well.
The partnership between ApprenticeshipNH and WIOA has become important not only to both programs, but to employers and apprentices as well. When a new registered apprenticeship is developed, a referral is made to WIOA. Apprentices are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and if eligible, WIOA covers some costs for related instruction. This is beyond the funds ApprenticeshipNH has available and mitigates some expenses for employers as well. ApprenticeshipNH and WIOA utilize funds to support apprentices, helping them overcome financial barriers to continue their apprenticeships. Examples of support services include car repairs, childcare costs, or mileage reimbursement to classroom training. In addition to benefiting the apprentice and employer, the partnership helps WIOA to achieve their enrollment and federally required goals. They also make referrals to available apprenticeship programs, thus increasing the pool of applicants for employers.
This is a perfect example of two programs with mutual interest working toward common goals. Both want apprentices to be successful, earn self-sufficient wages, and have career pathways with employers invested in them. Both want employers to have a skilled workforce, a pool of applicants to choose from, trained employees, and a positive experience to enhance their work culture.
Without the partnership between ApprenticeshipNH and WIOA, a large part of infrastructure for employers would not be possible. This collaborative work and effort help make registered apprenticeships stronger and attainable!
– Michael Piaseczny, Western Hub Developer