Apprenticeship Programs


“To deliver apprenticeship training that incorporates craftsmanship, responsibility, safety and stewardship into developing the future leaders of America’s construction workforce.”

The ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter’s Apprenticeship and Craft Training programs combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. Students attend school on a flexible schedule and many ABC member employers pay students while they train.

ABC Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter’s Apprenticeship Trust is a state and federally approved apprenticeship program and offers the nationally recognized “Journeyworker” credential in Electrical, Plumbing/Pipefitting, Carpentry, Sheet Metal, and Sprinkler fitting. It is a National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) sponsor.

Students receive on-the-job training while attending classes to learn the latest techniques and practical applications of their craft. The semesters run September to December (first semester) and January to April (second semester). After completing this program, students enter the job market as journey-level workers.

Read what one ABC member had to say –

“The ABC Apprenticeship program has played a critical role in developing our apprentices into Journeyworkers. They’ve gained the knowledge and hands on skills needed to be successful in the field and have played an integral part in growing our organization and allowing us the opportunity to expand into different locations and markets.

Additionally, the day training allows our apprentices to further their education and commitment to the trade while not interrupting their time with their family. This is critical since it supports our organization’s culture and family philosophy. Our company has been able to successfully retain graduates as a result of the commitment we show towards their education and career path, and we are looking forward to the continued success of our future apprentices.”

Government Help

Executive order expands apprenticeship programs

President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order June 15 giving businesses expanded authority to design their own apprenticeship programs. The Executive Order came three days after the Trump administration asked federal agencies and departments to eliminate regulations that could impede apprenticeship programs.

Under the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) current system, apprenticeships receive funding after they meet quality standards. For more than 75 years, DOL has worked with state agency affiliates to register programs that meet quality training standards and lead to certificates of completion. Apprenticeships generally combine technical instruction with on-the-job learning for four years.

President Trump’s Executive Order is intended to improve industry flexibility and expand the earn-as-you-learn job-training program by allowing companies to tailor the guidelines to meet their own workforce needs.

The Executive Order directs the secretary of labor to propose a new regulation that promotes the ability of third parties such as trade associations, companies and unions to develop their own apprenticeship guidelines. DOL still would give final approval to apprenticeships, but the department would be required to expedite the process to approve or disapprove the proposals. The Executive Order also retains the existing mechanism for DOL registration.

Former President Obama supported the cause during his tenure, announcing $175 million in apprenticeship grants to benefit 34,000 Americans in summer 2016. But deciding how to further elevate employer participation levels remains subject to debate.

President Trump’s Executive Order received support from business groups hoping to advance job applicants’ skills without needing to overcome the bureaucratic challenges of meeting federal and state-administered registration standards. The Executive Order faced criticism from some Democrats and Obama administration DOL officials who argue the order cedes too much control to companies without the traditional degree of government oversight.

In addition to the Executive Order, the Trump administration has dedicated $100 million in new funding to increase the number of apprenticeships. The White House also called upon Congress to look for additional financing options.

Congress Tries to Help

Bipartisan bill would grant apprenticeship program tax breaks

A recently introduced Senate bill aims to use tax breaks to kickstart apprenticeship programs. On June 14, Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Apprenticeship and Jobs Training Act (S. 1352). The bill would create a $5,000 tax credit based on wages paid by companies that hire individuals enrolled in a federal or state-registered apprentice program.

Cantwell told Bloomberg BNA the bill is intended to kick “American apprenticeship into high gear” by establishing “the first ever national incentive for apprentice programs.”

“It will help close our skills gap, get more Americans back to work, raise wages and allow our companies to continue to make the best products in the world,” Cantwell continued.

The bill would provide a tax credit rate of $3 per hour per individual for employers participating in a multiemployer apprenticeship program. Senior employees near retirement would be given the ability to draw from their pensions earlier if they choose to mentor new employees, according to the legislation.

The Senate bill was introduced during the White House’s “workforce development week.” The focus of the week was to spur job growth in part through efforts to expand apprenticeship programs. On June 15, President Trump issued an Executive Order giving businesses expanded authority to design their own apprenticeship programs.

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