Webinar Highlights—Equitable Apprenticeship: Identifying Effective Practices

The March webinar focused on how the expansion of pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships could contribute to rapid up-skilling and re-employment across demand industries, as well as a more equitable distribution of training and employment opportunities. High Road Alliance (HRA) conducted an online survey of apprenticeship practitioners across California, followed by a series of Peer Learning Circles that identified effective practices and collective interest in growing the field of equitable apprenticeship. This webinar provided an overview of the issues and opportunities identified through this process and how practitioners can actively participate in a network of leaders who are doing the important work of shaping equitable pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs. Takeaways from the webinar include:

  • Equity in apprenticeship design and delivery is important to open doors for a more diverse workforce to achieve financial security. Apprentices today don’t reflect diversity of the state and nation. Moreover, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately harmed certain populations in California’s workforce. An equitable distribution of training and employment opportunities is necessary to address these issues and support the workforce of the future. In this case, “equity” is not only about providing opportunities but also about removing barriers to access and participation.
  • One effective practice to promote equity is to integrate multiple forms of instruction into apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship. The most commonly integrated practices include basic academic skills education, such as math, English, and ESL; workplace skills education; online or hybrid instruction; and accessibility to adults with disabilities.
  • Another effective practice to promote equity is to remove barriers that prevent people from participating in apprenticeships. These include covering the costs of books, materials, and uniforms; providing transportation or childcare subsidies; offering wraparound support services; building collaborative partnerships to leverage community support; and providing access to technology (e.g., computers, internet, and teaching people how to use technology).
  • Programs need to set the intention to center equity at the outset. This means gathering all the stakeholders, defining that intent, and arriving at shared goals together. This approach emphasizes collective problem-solving, helping each other stay focused, and building equitable programs. 
  • HRA’s online survey and Peer Learning Circles (PLCs) offered the following learnings: 

    • The importance of applying an “equity lens” to pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship development
    • It is imperative to expand partnerships to address equity challenges
    • There is a need for tools and examples to further the field of equitable apprenticeship
    • There is a high interest in future peer exchange and PLCs.

You can access the Equitable Apprenticeship: Identifying Effective Practices webinar recording here.


Roundtable Discussion: Affordable Housing Strategies for California Community Colleges 

Recently, California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, CPA, and the California School Finance Authority hosted a virtual roundtable discussing innovative strategies for increasing affordable housing for California’s community college students and employees. Attendees gained insight into current bills that support student housing, community colleges with housing projects in various stages of development, and innovative community partnerships that may offer benefits to students. Additionally, attendees learned how the State Treasurer’s Office and the California School Finance Authority can help. Visit the California School Finance Authority here to access the webinar recording and additional resources shared during the virtual event.