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Apprenticeships and California’s Economy

Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and related classroom instruction that takes place under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation.

A journey-level experience refers to a person who has completed an apprenticeship program or is an experienced worker, not a trainee, who is fully qualified and able to perform a specific trade without supervision.

The apprenticeship model is leading the way in preparing American workers to compete in today’s economy. Apprenticeship is a flexible training strategy that can be customized to meet the needs of any business and keep pace with advancing technologies. Apprentices can be new hires, or businesses can select current employees who could benefit from  skill upgrades to join the apprenticeship program. While it is used in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, apprenticeship is also instrumental for training and development in growing industries, including health care, information technology, transportation and logistics, and energy.

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Grow Apprenticeship California is an initiative of the Foundation for California Community Colleges that supports the creation of apprenticeship opportunities throughout the state. This support comes through projects that provide guidance and technical assistance for starting and maintaining apprenticeship programs and maintaining networks of practitioners that share knowledge and best practices for developing high quality apprenticeship opportunities.


California Apprenticeship Initiative

The California Apprenticeship Initiative is a grant opportunity offered by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office to support the creation of new apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship training programs. The Foundation provides technical assistance to over 100 projects and 20 sectors through coaching, in order to increase student and employer engagement and foster a shared community of practice for college supervisors of apprenticeship programs.

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Transportation
  • Agriculture, Water and Environmental Technologies
  • Energy, Construction and Utilities
  • Global Trade and Logistics
  • Health
  • Information and Communication Technologies / Digital Media
  • Life Sciences / Biotech
  • Retail / Hospitality / Tourism
Grantee Map

Apprenticeship Expansion Project

In 2019, The Irvine Foundation Better Careers Initiative awarded funding to the Foundation for California Community Colleges to support apprenticeship readiness and expansion throughout California community colleges. Through this funding, we have created the Apprenticeship Expansion Project, which seeks to expand the knowledge and network of practitioners interested in learning, creating, and expanding apprenticeships in the state.