In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, the Maine DOE would like to highlight the industry-driven, high-quality career pathways offered through the Maine Department of Labor Maine Apprenticeship Program and foreshadow the work underway to build the Maine Pre-Apprenticeship Program.
Currently, there are 1126 active apprentices and 191 active employers in the Maine Registered Apprenticeship Program and between September 2020 to September 2021, 117 apprentices completed their apprenticeship. Sponsors play a key role in the Maine Apprenticeship Program and currently there are 119 active sponsors and 58 new potential sponsors of apprenticeships in Maine.
Recognizing Maine’s workforce needs in high wage, in-demand jobs, the Maine Department of Labor is working to increase the number of employers, sponsors, and apprentices in the Maine Registered Apprenticeship Program. A Request for Applications (RFA) process will be used to allocate federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the expansion of the Maine Registered Apprenticeship Program and the creation of the Maine Pre-Apprenticeship Program. The unique qualities of each of these two programs is highlighted below.
Maine Pre-Apprenticeship Program:
- Pathway to begin apprenticeship training for high school juniors and seniors who are 16 years of age or older.
- Pre-apprenticeship programs may also be established for out-of-school youth (at least 16 years old) or adults.
- Collaboration and formal agreement approved among the school, the employer, the student, Maine DOL Apprenticeship Program staff, and in some cases the parent or guardian.
- Student must be full-time student, in good academic standing who works part-time for a registered employer/sponsor and is interested in becoming a registered apprentice after graduating from high school.
Maine Registered Apprenticeship:
- Registered Apprentice must be at least 16 years of age (except when a higher minimum age standard of 18 years is otherwise fixed by law or a sponsor) and employed to learn in an occupation approved by the Maine Department of Labor, Maine Apprenticeship Program.
- Employers, employer associations, and joint labor-management organizations, known collectively as “sponsors”, provide apprentices with paid on-the-job learning and academic instruction that reflects industry needs.
- Individual apprentices obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, mentorship, and a portable, industry credential.
- Length of time of an apprenticeship is dependent on the specifics in the formal agreement and ranges from 1-5 years. Apprentices are expected to make a long-term commitment to the apprenticeship.
As Maine high schools and Career and Technical Education schools implement the Maine Learning Results Life and Career Ready Standards and design, develop, expand, and refine career exploration and development pathways for high school students, they are encouraged to engage in the Maine Apprenticeship Program’s RFA process and connect current extended learning career exploration programs, Co-op programs, and Maine Career and Technical Education programs as on-roads to the Maine Pre-Apprenticeship Program or Maine Registered Apprentice Program. These partnerships will create more options and career development pathways for students that will lead to industry credentials and employment.
For more information on the Maine Pre-Apprenticeship Program or Maine Apprenticeship Program contact Joan Dolan, Director of Maine Apprenticeship Program at firstname.lastname@example.org and Kristine McCallister, Maine Department of Labor, Career Center Consultant-Apprenticeships at email@example.com
For more information on Maine Career and Technical Education, contact Dwight Littlefield, Maine DOE State Director of Career and Technical Education at Dwight.firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on developing high school extended learning career exploration opportunities contact Diana Doiron, Maine DOE Life and Career Ready Education Specialist at email@example.com and Rick Wilson, Maine DOE Distinguished Educator for Career Exploration at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the foundations and bridges the Maine Learning Results Life and Career Ready Standards lay to support career exploration and career planning contact Diana Doiron, Maine DOE Life and Career Ready Education Specialist at email@example.com