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Step-by-Step ApprenticeshipImplementation GuideKey steps for VR agencies toconsider when developing paidwork experience programs.DeBrittany MitchellNeil McNeilJulisa CullyJeanne MillerPeggy HaleNerlie BuildAssessDefineInforming Research, Policy, and Practice

Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation GuideThe mission of the public vocational rehabilitation (VR)services program is to empower people with disabilitiesto achieve employment and economic self-sufficiency.Strengthening paid work experience partnerships betweenVR and the workforce system, businesses, and highereducation institutions can increase the number of peoplewith disabilities who will enter or return to the workforce, andcan ultimately lead to increased numbers of individuals withdisabilities who meet the demand for rapidly expandingcareer fields.Other resourcesDepartment of Labor. Employment and Training Administration. A Quick Start Toolkit: Building RegisteredApprenticeship Programs. www.doleta.gov/oa/employers/apprenticeship toolkit.pdfDepartment of Labor. Employment and Training Administration. Sector Strategy r-Strategies Implementation-FrameworkFor more information and learning resources on paid work experience programs for VR includingwebinars, implementation guides, case studies, briefs, and more visit the Paid Work Experiences Toolkit oolkit.Informing Research, Policy, and Practicewww.exploreVR.orgThIis guide was developed by the Job-Driven Vocational Rehabilitation TechnicalAssistance Center (JD-VRTAC), funded by Rehabilitation Services AdministrationGrant #H264A140002. It is a publication of ExploreVR, the data hub for a groupof vocational rehabilitation research (VR) projects at the Institute for CommunityInclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.2

The Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation guideoutlines key steps for VR agencies to consider whendeveloping paid work experience ImproveDefine Your Apprenticeship Program . 4Assess Current Labor Market Trends. 5Build a Team . 6Evaluate the System’s Current State. 8Develop Your Strategy. 9Implement Your Program . 10Evaluate Progress and Measure Results . 11Make Improvements. 12Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guides3

STEPDefine1Define Your Apprenticeship ProgramTo develop or implement an apprenticeship program in your state, it is critical to start by developing anunderstanding of the standards set by your state’s office of apprenticeship training. Once you have aclear sense of how apprenticeship programs are defined in your state or local community, then you canmove forward customizing your program to fit the needs of your VR consumers and business customers.Pre-apprenticeship can be a valuable part of defining a state-level program for VR. Start by establishing aclear vision and goals of what you would like to accomplish with your apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeshipprogram. Consider your organizational capacity, resources, and strategic plan.The following lists the key components of an apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program. Does yourorganization or team have the capacity to implement each key component?Component11Business Involvement2Structured on-the-job Training3Related Instruction4Rewards for Skill Gains5National Occupational Credential14Goals/VisionAdapted from DOL: www.doleta.gov/oa/employers/apprenticeship toolkit.pdfStep-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation GuideCapacity

STEPAssess2Assess Current Labor Market TrendsIntegrating labor market information (LMI) intoVR strategic planning for paid work experienceprograms is vital to these programs’ success. VRprograms should make informed decisions aboutpaid work experience program developmentbased on the projections for industries that are hiringthe most, occupations that are in demand, andgeographic areas that are projected to have themost viable job opportunities for consumers.LMI data includes historical, current, and futureprojection metrics at local, state, regional, andnational levels on employment, unemployment,working hours, earnings, and labor turnover. It alsooffers descriptive characteristics of the population inthe labor force, and of the skills job seekers require tomeet their employment goals.Next, partner with your state’s LMI unit. Discussstrategies for making LMI available in formats thatare responsive to the needs of the VR system, andthose of the people you serve.Such an effort should answer thesequestions: What kinds of LMI are available, and which will bemost beneficial to your agency? Which LMI format will be most useful, both forplanning and at the counselor and job-seekerlevel? What kind of training and infrastructure is neededfor your staff to make better use of LMI? How can you ensure that LMI is used on aconsistent and integrated basis? Does available LMI include coverage of the localeconomic environment? If so, is it comprehensiveenough for your use?First, evaluate:a. Whether LMI is being used by your VR systemb. If so, how it’s being usedc. Whether the current uses of LMI are effective inguiding decision-making What are some growing, in-demand sectors asidentified by LMI at the local, state, or nationallevel?d. How the use of LMI could be improved tomaximize its potentialStep-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guides5

STEPBuild3Build a TeamApprenticeships by definition involve partnerships. It is also critical to have an internal team to lead thisinitiative. Together, the internal and external partners develop a vision and a purpose as they designan inclusive apprenticeship system that is open and accessible to persons with disabilities.There are some key elements to consider when building a team and developing promising partnerships:Choose Strategic External PartnersDevelop partnerships that will strengthen the reach, implementation, and impact of apprenticeshipprograms. Potential partners include the workforce system, state apprenticeship agencies, communitycolleges, economic development agencies, labor unions, public schools, disability agencies, and advocates.In rural areas, maximize relationships with local partners such as small businesses, civic organizations, andcommunity coalitions.It is vital to approach partnerships having a clear understanding of the goals of the apprenticeship programfrom your agency’s perspective, and also to brainstorm about what would make the partnership fruitful forthe desired partnership entity. Use the space below to list potential partnership entities and existing contactsthat would be helpful. Then list your thoughts on what would make the partnership mutually beneficial to theVR agency and the potential partner.Partnership Entity6Potential ContactsNotes (what the partner brings to the table, what is needed frompartner, who should reach out, etc.)Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guide

Develop an internal teamIt is vital to develop an internal team at your agency that includes staff at the direct service, middlemanagement, and leadership levels. Determine how you might educate your staff about the apprenticeshipprogram, and discuss their roles in making it a reality. Identify champions for staff at each level, determine howto get buy-in from leadership, and brainstorm how to develop their competence and understanding aboutthe impact of apprenticeship programs for consumers.VR staffWhat do they need to knowabout your apprenticeshipprogram?How do you plan to educatethem about their roles?Who are the champion(s)/key players?Direct service/counselorsMiddle managementLeadershipDetermine team operationsDefining team operations will vary depending on the scope of the proposed team at the central, regional,and leadership levels. Brainstorm about the roles and functions of each team (internal and external).TeamPossible Team Lead(s)Roles & FunctionsStep-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guides7

STEPEvaluate4Evaluate the System’s Current StateVR programs should first assess the need for apprenticeship programs by determining client demand, as well asthe capacity of the VR program to develop a pipeline of viable candidates.To get started, you’ll need to figure out what data has been collected from caseloads to determine the needfor apprenticeship programs. For example, do you know how many transition-age youth are seeking non-collegepost-secondary training, the number of IPEs with apprenticeship job goals in the local economy, the number ofclients currently enrolled in apprenticeship programs, and other relevant data?The following diagram can be used as a brainstorming exercise to help describe the current system byconducting an inventory of all VR paid work experience programs and models. Define how your VR agencyparticipates, and identify the gaps in the system.YESDoes youragencycurrently haveor participate inapprenticeshipprograms?NO8What are someof your currentapprenticeshipprograms/models?What are somebarriers orsystem gaps toimplementingapprenticeshipprograms?Can you leverage some exisiting programs? If so, how?»»»What are the costs of such programs? What cost sharing agreements exist, if any?»»»What are your needs?»»»What data can be gathered from caseloads to determine the need for apprenticeship programs?»»»Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guide

STEPStrategize5Develop your strategyAfter identifying needs, brainstorm about designing strategies to address them. Consider how your agency willmeet employer demands and be responsive to rapidly growing industry sectors (see the framework below). What barriers do VR clients face in the current system? How can these be overcome? What resources are needed to create an accessible, inclusive system?Sector-BasedService DeliverymegegausIndSource: Employment andTraining AdministrationHow well are you and yourpartners facilitating thedelivery of workforceHow well issolutionsthat areyour organizationresponsive to theableto measureHow broad and deepneeds of workers andsector strategyIs the involvement oftargeted industryoutcomes?sector(s)?targeted industry sectorAre you positioned toemployers in designing anddelivering programs andfinancially sustain sectorservices?work over time?EntryntSector StrategyImplementationFrameworkSustainability &Continuous ImprovementityData-Infion M romedakingacpCatmenDecisalntioDoes your organizationhave the personnel,policies, vision, andresources in place to, continually supportsector Is your organizationusing rigorous data tomake decisions abouttarget industries andtraining Investments?Resources NeededStep-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guides9

STEPImplement6Implement Your ProgramDevelop an implementation plan with action steps, work products, performance measures, and time lines.Then, get started! Put your plan in motion.Work Plan TemplateActivities, Tasks, Responsible Personnel, Milestones, & TimelinesXX ActivitiesMilestonesResponsible PersonnelTimeframeQ1Activity 1:Activity 2:Activity 3:10 Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation GuideQ2CompleteQ3Q4

STEPMeasure7Evaluate Progress and Measure ResultsThough there is no one-size-fits-all approach toevaluating the success of paid work experienceprograms, it is important to outline somethoughts about how you will define the success ofyour programs before, during, and post programimplementation. What are the baseline measures,desired outcomes, and metrics will you use?Begin by exploring and brainstorming key metricsto measure progress or success. At this time, thereis no established set of standards for programsto evaluate their apprenticeship projects andprograms. Nevertheless, literature reveals thatmany programs measure their projects based onthe criteria that are common for all registeredapprenticeship programs, as well as their ownexpectations and outcome priorities.Below are some guiding questions to help yourprogram develop an evaluation tool that respondsto your funders’ expectations, your own programdesign and priorities, and the general principlesthat guide apprenticeship program implementationnationwide.Guiding questions: How are successful outcomes measured? What is an example of a successful outcome? How many participants reach a successfuloutcome? What percentage of participants do not reach asuccessful outcome? What barriers impede participants in reaching asuccessful outcome? Is there a continuous improvement plan in place?If so, what is it? Are there plans for expansion? If so, what arethey? What challenges have been identified goingforward? Is sustainability built into the program? If so, how?If not, how might we add it in? Do I need data from the perspective of theparticipant, client, beneficiary, or customer?Here is a tool that you can use/develop to measure your paid work experience program work-experience-programsStep-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guides11

STEPImprove8Make ImprovementsAfter you establish your apprenticeship program, it is important to make continuous improvementsbased on the feedback and outcomes you receive. In addition, there are many benefits toregistering your program according to national standards for registration with the U.S. Departmentof Labor (or an approved State Apprenticeship Agency).According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are multiple options to registerprograms including:National Guideline Standards (NGS)NGS are generally appropriate for organizations with multiple chapters or affiliates across the country.NGS are useful when organizations seek to provide some level of consistency across their affiliates butwish to allow for some ability to customize programs at the local level.National Program Standards (NPS)NPS are generally appropriate for large national employers that wish to implement the sameapprenticeship program across the country in multiple locations.Local Apprenticeship Program StandardsLocal programs are appropriate for apprenticeship programs operating in one state or region.Here is a guide to registering apprenticeship p toolkit.pdf12 Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guide

Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation Guide. 1. Define. STEP. Deine Your Apprenticeship Program. T. o develop or implement an apprenticeship progra