Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week: November 13 – 19
Career advancement and upward mobility are among the most closely-held union values, and creating pathways for our represented employees to flourish professionally is a priority for SEIU Local 1000.
As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, I’d like to share some history of Local 1000’s apprenticeship efforts and how we have become a nationwide leader in civil service apprenticeship development.
Eight years ago, we created a groundbreaking apprenticeship in the public sector that combined on-the-job training with related study and instruction in order to increase workers’ skills and to allow them to be more competitive in their civil service career.
Traditionally, apprenticeships were the purview of the trades, like carpentry, plumbing, and electrical. Local 1000 asked the question “Why not for state workers who wish to grow?”
The answer has been a resounding success, and from our initial offering, an LVN-to-RN apprenticeship in 2016, we’ve expanded to offerings in financial services, information technology, office administration, and even a program that allows participants to explore what possibilities a civil service career can offer.
The numbers say it all: we’ve provided nearly 200 Local 1000 members with new career opportunities, and they’ve increased their income from 50% – 100% by promoting into new positions.
And success breeds success: Our apprenticeship program has applied for and won nearly $6 million in funding from a variety of sources while building a coalition of partners that include a number of state agencies, colleges up and down the state, and industry partners.
Our apprenticeship program is growing in order to help you grow in your public service career. We’ve created an opportunity for improvement on the job that helps apprentices bypass financial barriers that would otherwise prevent them from attaining education and new skills.