Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has announced that the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), an affiliate of the Boston Planning & Development Agency, has recently been awarded $3 million from the US Department of Labor to create and expand equitable pre-apprenticeships to Registered Apprenticeship Programs.
The Greater Boston Equitable Apprenticeship Pathways grant will allow its workforce development office and its partners to expand eight Massachusetts pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs over a four-year period. The program will look to serve around 484 participants in pre-apprenticeship programs, with a goal to place hundreds of participants into registered apprenticeships. The program will also work towards increasing equity and accessibility to apprentices, bringing the Registered Apprenticeship model to more industries, and improving RAP completion rates for under-represented populations and underserved communities.
“This grant represents a step toward building strong pathways that will connect every resident and worker to opportunity,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we work to make Boston a city for everyone, expanding access to apprenticeship programs is critical to ensuring that our workforce represents all of our City’s diversity and reflects the expertise in our communities”
Michelle Wu, Mayor of Boston
The grant will serve BIPOC residents, women, individuals who self-identify as having disabilities, formerly incarcerated individuals, at-risk youth, court-involved young adults, veterans, unemployed and underrepresented individuals, and those with limited education or career skills.
The target growth industries include hospitality, construction, health care, and life sciences. The target occupations within those industries are housekeeper, room attendant houseman, bricklayer, electrician, elevator constructor, heat and frost insulator, ironworker, laborers operating engineer, painter, and allied trades, pipefitter/plumber, roofer, sheet metal worker, sprinkler fitter, teamster, EMT, biomanufacturing technician, and clinical trial associate. Starting wages for apprentices in these positions range from an average of $18-$27/hr, with wages increasing as the apprentice progresses.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Apprenticeship Building America grant program builds on President Biden’s goals and priorities for a strong and equitable post-pandemic economic recovery by connecting Americans to quality careers by strengthening and modernizing the registered apprenticeship system.