Considering its size, it may be little surprise that California leads the nation in total number of working apprentices. As of the end of 2017, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) reported more than 80,000 active in the state1, and with the passage of Assembly Bill 235 in 2018, California is now formalizing pre-apprenticeship as a pathway into apprenticeship programs and ultimately high-demand, living wage careers. Governor Newsom’s vision of adding half a million new apprentices by 2029 is ambitious but attainable, according to recent research2, but doing so will require making apprenticeship opportunities available in new and innovative industries, and to more individuals who are not typically represented.
CAI pre-apprenticeship grantees, already operating in the state, are laying the groundwork for increasing the total number of active apprentices in California, and doing so while also effectively opening apprenticeship opportunities to more diverse participants. As illustrated in the table below, CAI pre-apprentices are more diverse across multiple characteristics compared to California apprentices.
Grantees have created viable working models that use various strategies to achieve greater gender and racial diversity. For example, grantees host targeted outreach events and partner with organizations that refer under-represented groups to their program. The grantees also offer supports within the program that appeal to these groups, such as guest speakers that help female participants learn how to cope with issues that arise when most of their co-workers are male.
1 Division of Apprenticeship Standards 2017 Legislative Report
2 Koller, Vinz. Closing the Gap: The Future of Apprenticeship in California, 2018
Sources: Pre-Apprenticeship Grantee Program Data. Division of Apprenticeship Standards 2017 Legislative Report. Notes: 2017-2018 CAI Grantee data through 1/30/2019. Active Apprentices as of 12/31/2017.