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Challenges and Opportunities for Expanding Registered Apprenticeship with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I: Findings from the American Apprenticeship Initiative Evaluation (Issue Brief)

Release Date

Oct 26, 2022

Publication Author(s)

  • Abt Associates
  • Elizabeth Copson
  • Karen Gardiner
  • Laura Paulen
  • Urban Institute
  • Batia Katz

Research Methodology

  • Focus Groups
  • Qualitative Analysis


  • Adult
  • American Job Centers
  • Apprenticeship
  • Employers
  • H1-B Grant Programs
  • Youth

States & Territories

  • All US States and Territories


ETA launched the American Apprenticeship Initiative (AAI) in October 2015 and provided five-year grants to 46 grantees to expand registered apprenticeship into new sectors and to populations historically underrepresented in apprenticeships. Some AAI grantees received no-cost extensions of their periods of performance through September 2021. In April 2016, ETA commissioned an evaluation of the AAI to build evidence about the effectiveness of registered apprenticeship for apprentices and employers. The evaluation included four sub-studies (an implementation study, an outcomes study, an employer return-on-investment (ROI) study, and an assessment of a demonstration to encourage employers to adopt apprenticeship). Three reports comprised the implementation sub-study. In addition to the sub-study reports, the AAI Evaluation included five topical issue briefs.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) specifies registered apprenticeship as a fundable activity aligned with WIOA Title I goals. A subset of AAI grantees—State and local workforce development boards (WDBs)—explored the use of WIOA Title I funds to support registered apprenticeship through American Job Centers (AJCs). This brief is based on site visits and follow-up clarification calls to six AAI grantees that constituted seven State or local workforce development boards (WDBs). These AAI grantees report that local WDBs and their AJCs are still relatively new to promoting apprenticeship to employers and job seekers. Potential strategies to increase registered apprenticeship take-up by employers and job seekers focus on training business services and career counselor staff to market apprenticeship to employers and job seekers, to share emerging research on the outcomes of apprenticeships for employers and job seekers, and to weigh the contribution of registered apprenticeship to achievement of WIOA performance measures relative to other types of services.

Final Report

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