Harrisonburg, VA (November 12, 2019). The week of November 11-17, 2019 marks the 5th Anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week (NAW). Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam issued a proclamation citing the vital importance of  registered apprenticeship to Virginia’s economy and naming November National Apprenticeship Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board (SVWDB) and its partners are celebrating the week with a series of events to showcase the value of apprenticeship to businesess, individuals, and communities.

Apprenticeship has grown in the Shenandoah Valley in recent years thanks to strong partnerships with business and significant grants awarded to SVWDB from the U.S. Department of Labor,  Employment and Training Administration. SVWDB has convened and provided leadership for businesses and organizations seeking to address workforce shortages by opening pre-apprenticeship training and apprenticeship pathways for current workers and individuals seeking employment.  Regional SVWDB programs such as the Valley to Virginia (V2V) American Apprenticeship Initiative, collaborations on summer academies and pre-employment boot camps, and the newly funded Workforce Services Expansion to Increase Economic Equity program have been showcased in national magazines and at multiple conferences as best practices for creating higher paying employment opportunities and filling skilled labor vacancies with qualified applicants.

Registered apprenticeship has evolved to incorporate in-house company trainers, competency-based advancement, accelerated learning models, and youth apprenticeship for high school students. Over 1000 diverse occupations exist in traditional trades as well as cybersecurity, healthcare, transportation, and other industries. NAW is a nationwide celebration that offers leaders in business, labor, education, and other critical partners a chance to express their support for apprenticeships. NAW also gives apprenticeship partners the opportunity to showcase their programs, facilities, and apprentices in their community. The events highlight the benefits of preparing a highly-skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of job creators across diverse industries. For more information, visit apprenticeship.gov/NAW.

Just a few of the activities in the region celebrating National Apprenticeship Week include:

On Demand – VRWorkforce Studio Podcast Episode 74 – The VRWorkforce Studio podcast celebrates National Apprenticeship Week with cancer survivor Matt Campbell and his journey to credentials as Manufacturing Technician 1 via Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center and Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) certification from Massanutten Technical Center. Matt’s training eventually led to employment as an electronics technician and apprentice at ComSonics, an employee-owned company specializing in the design, manufacture, sales, and repair of electronics and fiber optics in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The podcast also features discussion with members of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s National Employment Team and an update of the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials that includes step-by-step implementation guides for apprenticeships and other paid work experience programs, some webinars, and links to resources from the US Department of Labor’s Workforce GPS on Disability and Apprenticeships.

 November 12Lord Fairfax Community College held a Career & Internship Fair 2019 at Corron Community Development Center, 173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA featuring dozens of employers with job and internship opportunities.

November 13 – Virginia Career Works – Fishersville Center will host an Apprenticeship Information and Job Fair at 1076 Jefferson Hwy. from 10am – noon.  Job seekers are invited to find out more about how pursuing an apprenticeship can benefit their career and talk with area employers about job opportunities.

November 14 – Career & Technical Education Apprenticeship Signing Day at Massanutten Technical Center (MTC). MTC’s Signing Day will celebrate students signing Apprenticeship Letters of Intent within the Career & Technical field.

This product was created using 100% of federal U. S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) award of $1,627,437 (#AA-32183-18-55-A-51)  made to Page County on behalf of the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Area by the pass-through entity, the Virginia Community College System. No costs of this product were financed by nongovernmental sources. The information contained herein does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership.