The U.S. Department of Labor has made an historic investment in apprenticeships by awarding $20.4 million in contracts to national industry intermediaries to increase apprenticeship opportunities, and FASTPORT was selected to help extend and diversify those opportunities in the Transportation & Logistics sector.
In his 2014 State of the Union, President Barack Obama proclaimed his administration’s focus on developing apprenticeship programs for the American workforce and reinforced that when he declared November 1st – November 7th as National Apprenticeship week. During that declaration, President Obama stated, “Our country thrives when all our citizens play a role in driving it forward. If we create good jobs and help workers get the skills they need to succeed in those jobs, we can restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American. During National Apprenticeship Week, let us support and encourage apprenticeship programs that will help rebuild our middle class, and let us rededicate ourselves to educating more of our people, retraining our workforce, and renewing our Nation's promise to put the American dream within the reach of the determined.” (Click here for a full speech transcript.)
FASTPORT will jointly accomplish this goal to make that American dream a reality for job seekers by expanding the number of existing apprenticeship programs in the transportation industry in tandem with the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship (DOL OA). Some of the important steps necessary to accomplish that goal include:
- Create at least 10 new Registered Apprenticeship Programs
- Develop at least two National Guideline Standard Apprenticeships
- Educate America’s diverse population of Veterans to fill the newly created apprenticeship opportunities
- Train at least 450 apprentices in highly skilled and highly sought-after positions in the Transportation & Logistics sector.
Bill McLennan, FASTPORT CEO, expressed his appreciation for the work the DOL OA has put into the creation of apprenticeships and the forward thinking of engaging with industry intermediaries to ensure that effort is rewarded: “Private-public partnerships like the DOL OA has put into motion with this contract are an incredible mechanism for positive change for both the Transportation & Logistics sector as well as other high-growth industries. I can say unreservedly that FASTPORT’s first priority is helping our nation’s service members access great careers to improve their lives as well as the health of the nation’s economy, and this innovative engagement will help us make even greater strides toward that goal.”
FASTPORT committed to support apprenticeship programs before this historic contract award by inspiring the trucking industry and more than 100 employers to make commitments to employ veterans, have successfully promoted the industry and its career opportunities to attract more than 40,000 job applications and 10,000 industry mentor requests from Veterans.
FASTPORT’S industry partners have continually supported these efforts, and it recently formed a strategic alliance with 115 publicly funded training schools to provide curriculum and credentialed training to more than 15,000 potential truck driver apprenticeship candidates each year. In addition, FASTPORT received commitments from five industry associations representing more than 2,000 employers across multiple sub-sectors of the industry who will promote and expand this train-while-you-earn apprenticeship model.
“We are proud to work alongside the DOL OA to create new Transportation & Logistics industry apprenticeships to help transportation employers across the country attract more talent and help the American worker earn more over the course of his or her career,” said Brad Bentley, FASTPORT President. “The apprenticeship model is proven to increase the success for employers and apprentices alike, and the transportation industry is equipped with the best careers paths and the passion for training the next generation to ensure this collaboration’s success.”
If you are interested in creating an apprenticeship program or supporting Veteran employment, please visit transportationapprenticeships.org.