June 13, 2016


Below are some of the frequently asked questions about apprenticeship programs with Apprentice Virginia (ApprenticeVA). If you can’t find answers to your questions below, or still require more information, please contact the Apprenticeship Coordinator at your location:

Kelly Arnold
Apprenticeship Coordinator
Phillip Baughman
Apprenticeship Coordinator
John McGarry
Apprenticeship Coordinator

Q: What are apprenticeships?

A: Registered apprenticeship is a proven, cost-effective system for training employees in a variety of occupations that require a wide range of skills and knowledge; it is an ideal way for employers to build and maintain a skilled workforce. Registered apprenticeship combines supervised on-the-job training with technical classroom studies in subjects related to the apprentice’s chosen occupation.*

We are building apprenticeship programs for students and employers through ApprenticeVA.

Q. What is the purpose of apprenticeships through ApprenticeVA?

A. We are preparing workers to help move the manufacturing industry forward. We can assist employers, industry groups and unions with registered and non-registered apprentice and employee development programs.

Historically, apprenticeships have been the primary method of training for trades industries and have been successfully adapted to advanced manufacturing by other countries. America’s economy needs a strong manufacturing apprenticeship program to remain competitive.

Q. Who is bringing this program to Virginia?

A. ApprenticeVA will be provided through a partnership between The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), made up of John Tyler Community College and Reynolds Community College, Danville Community College and Virginia Southside Community College. Together the partnering colleges will provide assistance, instruction and facilities for developing apprenticeship programs.

Q. How can my company partner with ApprenticeVA to create an apprenticeship program?

A. Employers interested in establishing for-credit or non-credit programs of study for the development of their employees are invited to contact the local Apprenticeship Coordinator at the top of this page.

Q: How are ApprenticeVA Registered Apprenticeships different from other types of work-based training?

A: Registered Apprenticeship training is distinguished from other types of workplace training by several factors: (1) participants who are newly hired (or already employed) earn wages from employers during training; (2) programs must meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry; (3) programs provide on-the-job learning and job-related technical instruction; (4) on-the-job learning is conducted in the work setting under the direction of one or more of the employer’s personnel; and 5) training results in an industry-recognized credential: the Manufacturers Technician Level 1 Certificate, for advanced manufacturing students and a Journeysman’s Card from DOLI**

Q. How do apprenticeship programs benefit employers?

A. Apprenticeships through ApprenticeVA can be a long-term solution to manufacturing workforce problems. The partnering colleges work with employers to create customized apprenticeship programs—providing a pipeline of trained workers with skillsets specific to that company’s needs. Once established, apprenticeship programs also reduce turnover rates, increase productivity, lower the cost of recruitment, and increase safety in the workplace/job site.

Q. What do employees gain from an apprenticeship?

A. Becoming an apprentice in the manufacturing industry provides employees with a career path for success as they are gaining top skills that are in high demand. Employees enrolled in registered apprenticeship programs benefit from opportunities for growth and advancement, strong pay and benefits. Employees who complete these programs can also receive credit toward an Associate in Applied Science degree.

Manufacturing is a thriving industry with numerous job opportunities for ambitious candidates. We want to ensure our region’s workers are prepared to benefit from these opportunities.

Q: Is an apprenticeship a job?

A: Yes, apprentices start working from day one with incremental wage increases as they become more proficient. The average starting wage for an apprentice is approximately $15.00 (from US DOL) per hour.**

Q. How long does each apprenticeship program take?

A. We work with each employer to determine needs, but our programs range from one to four years depending upon the apprenticeship.

Q. What kind of degree or credit can be earned by participating employees?

A. All participants in advanced manufacturing apprenticeships will earn MT1 certification as a core part of the program. MT1 is a nationally-recognized certificate, and provides students with a strong foundation in manufacturing. Some programs can earn participants credit toward an Associates degree in Applied Science.

Q. How can students sign up?

A. Students who are not currently employed by one of the participating partners can enroll in pre-apprenticeship training which will assess their skills and place them on either an advanced manufacturing or IT track.

Employees who work full-time at one of the partnering companies can be enrolled in an apprentice program by their employer. Opportunities to participate are provided to high-performing, qualified employees who employers see fit to enroll in training.

Q. How much does this training cost?

A. ApprenticeVA is funded through an American Apprenticeship Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant allows for qualifying employers to participate in the program at no additional cost to them for the first two years of the program. Apprenticeships lasting longer than two years will then be funded by employer partners.

Q. When an apprentice completes his or her apprenticeship what do they receive?

A. Each apprentice who completes the Virginia Apprenticeship Program will receive a completion certificate and a journeyman’s card presented by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. These documents are recognized throughout the United States.*

* Information obtained from The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and used as it pertains to Apprentice Virginia. Information used to create the above frequently asked questions can be found on the VADOLI website here: http://www.doli.virginia.gov/apprenticeship/faq-p1.html

** Information obtained from The United States Department of Labor and used as it pertains to Apprentice Virginia. Information used to create the above frequently asked questions can be found on the USDOL website here: https://www.dol.gov/featured/apprenticeship/faqs