Friday, June 10, 2011

The Secret's Out

"I've said it before and I'll say it again," [Department of Labor Secretary]Solis told the crowd of nearly 500, "joint apprenticeships are one of this country's best kept secrets. But from the National Mall this morning, I'm proud to let the secret out!"

DOL News Brief, June 9, 2011

And the apprenticeship system truely is the unrecognized jewel of U.S. training that combines learn and earn, mentorships, wage growth and benefits, employer/union investments, and certifications. Some apprenticeships are even articulating with community and technical colleges so workers can obtain post-secondary credentials.

But there is another secret that needs to get out -- the high drop out rate of construction-related apprentices -- in the range of 50-70%, much higher for apprentices of color. And this isn't just a recession problem. A similar problem exists in our other highly-touted gem -- the community college system. We should really figure this out while we're letting the secret out.

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