The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the 2021 National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) will be celebrated November 15–21. The weeklong celebration is designed to allow labor and business leaders, educational institutions, career seekers and other partners to demonstrate support for apprenticeships in preparing a highly-skilled and diverse workforce to meet the talent needs of employers and train Americans for good-paying jobs across multiple industries.
The DOL noted that NAW is an opportunity that encourages industry, labor, workforce, education and government leaders to host events to showcase the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship for rebuilding the economy and providing additional benefits.
“NAW is an opportunity to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship, a proven and industry-driven training model, provides a critical talent pipeline that can help to address some of our nation’s pressing workforce challenges, such as responding to critical supply chain demands and supporting a clean energy workforce, modernizing our cybersecurity response, addressing public health issues and rebuilding our country’s infrastructure,” according to the DOL.
“Registered apprenticeships provide a path to the middle class for workers, and this year’s National Apprenticeship Week event is an opportunity to bring together partners with a vested interest in expanding apprenticeship programs and creating a pipeline to success attainable for everyone,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “National Apprenticeship Week allows stakeholders to engage with one another, generate ideas and share creative solutions for encouraging apprenticeship, retraining our workforce and rebuilding our middle class.”
First observed in November 2015, National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the role of apprenticeship in helping workers earn while they learn and grow the economy. Since its establishment, NAW has prompted more than 5,000 events, 700 proclamations and 470,000 attendees across the country.
Social distancing protocols forced many of 2020’s events to be virtual, which challenged participants to find creative methods to engage audiences and expand reach. Events in 2021 may incorporate virtual and in-person collaborations as participants promote awareness, showcase innovation, explore workplace solutions and identify opportunities for partnerships.