Registered Apprenticeship Graduations Up 28 Percent in FY2011, Highest Level of Participation in 20 Years


Minority and women participation at near record levels

BALTIMORE, MD (July 13, 2011) – Maryland graduated 1,457 apprentices during Fiscal Year 2011, a 28 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2010. The Apprenticeship Maryland Class of 2011 is the largest since 1991 and among the most diverse. Of the nearly 1,500 apprentices who graduated over the last 12 months, 31 percent were minorities – the highest percentage on record. The state also graduated 65 women – the second largest number of female graduates in 10 years.

“As Maryland recovers from the national recession, we need to increase our commitment to building a sustainable workforce pipeline. Apprenticeships provide workers with an opportunity to earn and learn and they offer employers comfort that their workers will have the skills to do the job,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Alexander M. Sanchez. “Despite federal budget compromises that have reduced funding for workforce training and apprenticeship programs, Maryland is making progress. Because of our partnerships and our commitment to moving forward no matter the challenge, we graduated more apprentices last year than we have in 20 years.”

“As a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Apprenticeship Program for the Operating Engineers, I know the value of the training and the hard work that these individuals put into their careers,” said Maryland Labor Commissioner Ron DeJuliis. “We are committed to enhancing the skill level of our workforce to achieve Governor O’Malley’s mission of maintaining Maryland’s status as a national leader in workforce development. We know that apprenticeship will continue to play a major role in shaping the landscape of Maryland industry and the overall skill level of our workforce.”

In early June, the Maryland Department of Labor (DLLR) launched the Apprenticeship Maryland initiative. Through creative outreach and education, Apprenticeship Maryland has worked collaboratively with partners in state government, private sector organizations, the labor community and higher education to promote apprenticeship and training opportunities to jobseekers and employers; identify avenues to expand opportunities to earn and learn; and expand skills training to more Marylanders. Going forward, the initiative will work with key partners to expand registered apprenticeships to nontraditional fields and identify strategies that build on last year’s gains in minority and female graduates.

Nearly 3,200 Maryland employers participate in 314 apprenticeship programs across the state, employing more than 8,500 apprentices. The building trades make up more than 80 percent of the apprenticeships in Maryland.

Apprenticeships provide employers with unique opportunities to develop the skills of their workforce and increase employee retention, while offering workers the chance to learn while they earn. The Apprenticeship Maryland initiative aims to build greater awareness of apprenticeship opportunities among jobseekers and employers and foster the necessary partnerships to expand skills training through apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeship Maryland supports the Skills2Compete Maryland initiative – a collaborative effort to expand skills training and continuing education by 20 percent by 2012 which is led by Lt. Governor Brown and Secretary Sanchez and administered by the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, a division of DLLR.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.