College attains federal ‘Registered Apprenticeship’ status

Published 03.26.2024

Workforce Development
Apprenticeship Technology
Faculty & Staff
Industry Connections

Pennsylvania College of Technology has been recognized as a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor.

“Attaining national Registered Apprenticeship status is a significant milestone that underscores Pennsylvania College of Technology’s leadership in applied technology education,” said Michael J. Reed, Penn College president. “This prestigious national recognition validates the exceptional quality of our apprenticeship programs and our institution’s role in developing the highly skilled workforce manufacturers need to drive innovation and remain competitive globally. We are proud to expand access to these upskilling opportunities to individuals and employers, and foster growth in jobs with family-supporting wages.”

Pennsylvania College of Technology has been recognized as a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor. Apprenticeships help companies train existing workers to fill skills gaps and are a powerful tool for growing the American economy.

“Pennsylvania College of Technology’s designation as a national Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor is a testament to our innovative approach to workforce training,” said Shannon M. Munro, vice president for Workforce Development at Penn College. “Our MIDAS (Modular Industry-Driven Apprenticeship Strategies) model allows us to deliver high-quality apprenticeship programs online to employers across the country. By providing customized training modules and the flexibility of remote instruction, we can help companies of all sizes close critical skills gaps through apprenticeships tailored to their needs.”

The college’s advanced manufacturing apprenticeships are already registered through the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry; the federal designation provides an additional and elevated status. These same occupational manufacturing apprenticeships have been approved under the U.S. Department of Labor National Program Standards. This designation permits Penn College to register apprentices who work for companies in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. in the Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System, known as RAPIDS.

Apprentices who complete a registered apprenticeship receive a national credential that recognizes them as journey workers in their respective occupations.

Apprenticeships help companies train existing workers to fill skills gaps and are a powerful tool for growing the American economy.

With the assistance of funding through a U.S. Department of Labor Scaling Apprenticeship Grant, Workforce Development at Penn College has worked with 100 manufacturing employers in Pennsylvania, 22 other states and U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Over the course of five years, the apprenticeship program has served 1,113 apprentices employed in manufacturing occupations.

Thomas W. Fry (right), industrial training specialist with Workforce Development at Pennsylvania College of Technology, works with Jeff Steinbacher, a Kellanova employee who is enrolled in a mechatronics apprenticeship program.

Program registration is a hallmark of high-quality apprenticeship programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The National Program Standards Registration permits Penn College to register apprentices employed by companies in other states, cementing that quality standard for those participating employers.

Fully developed apprenticeships are available for CNC precision machinists, industrial maintenance mechanics, industrial manufacturing technicians, mechatronics technicians, plastics process technicians, and robotics and automation equipment technicians. Apprenticeship-related training programs are available in frontline supervisor, Lean Six Sigma and project management.

Penn College’s MIDAS model has been well received by employers who are looking to upskill their workforce through apprenticeship. MIDAS packages apprenticeship training in one-year topical modules and allows companies to customize the apprenticeship to fill skills gaps they may be experiencing in their workforce. Block scheduling, remote virtual instruction and the ability to enroll multiple companies in an apprenticeship cohort are additional features of MIDAS.

Typical per-year requirements for each apprenticeship module include 144 hours of related instruction and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, the latter of which is overseen by each apprentice’s respective company. Apprentices participate while they are on the job and employers sign an Apprenticeship Acceptance Agreement that includes a wage progression as the apprentice earns experience through the apprenticeship. As the apprenticeship sponsor, Penn College coordinates the administrative services for the apprenticeship and provides the related technical instruction.

Registered Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway in which employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally recognized credential. Registered Apprenticeships are industry vetted and approved.

Registered Apprenticeship Programs enable and energize more employers to participate and provide them access to larger talent pools that have been trained for entry-level to management positions, thereby meeting industry demands and reducing unemployment rates across the country.

For more about Penn College’s apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, email Workforce Development or call 570-327-4775.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.