Pennsylvania Announces Nation’s First Registered Apprenticeship for Public School Teachers

April 22, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced a first-of-its-kind registered apprenticeship to train K-12 public school teachers to further develop their skills and better prepare students for their future careers.

“I’m proud that Pennsylvania has the first registered apprenticeship program for public school teachers in the country, said Governor Wolf. “The experience that teachers gain will help them connect the dots between their students, education, and growing careers.

“The apprenticeship will focus on applying technology to show students about growing industries and the skills they’ll need to get a job and thrive.”

Expanding apprenticeships is a priority for Governor Wolf. The governor launched PAsmart last year to invest in job training and science and technology education. Building on that success, the governor’s budget would create opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement through the Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP). The initiative expands access to early childhood education, increases investments in schools, and partners with the private sector to expand on the PAsmart initiative.

This year, the governor is proposing an additional $10 million for PAsmart to bolster career and technical education for adults as well as job training programs at companies to enhance the skills of Pennsylvania workers.

In Montgomery County, the Apprenticeship to Mastery Program for Public School Teachers (AMP), a two-year non-traditional apprenticeship program for K-12 public school educators, was approved by the Department of Labor & Industry’s (L&I) Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO).

Sponsored by Choice Careers LLC, the program will provide structured on-the-job training with Norristown Area School District, as well as summer rotations at local businesses. Related technical instruction will be provided through accelerated online courses toward a Master of Science degree in Education from Gwynedd Mercy University (GMercyU), online training from Educational Impact, and workshops from Choice Careers LLC.

“We are very excited to roll out the nation’s first registered apprenticeship program for K-12 public school teachers with the Norristown Area School District and Gwynedd Mercy University as our partners,” said Clara Console, CEO/Owner of Choice Careers LLC. “Education, academia and businesses must work together to better prepare teachers to meet the needs of their diverse classrooms and to solve the growing skills gap.”

“The Norristown Area School District is excited to partner with Choice Careers LLC and Gwynedd Mercy University to implement the first of its kind apprenticeship program for teachers,” said Chris Dormer, Superintendent of Schools, Norristown Area School District. “This innovative apprenticeship program will allow Norristown Area School District to better recruit, attract, hire, and retain high quality instructors.”

“We are thrilled to be selected as the educational partner for the Registered ‘Apprenticeship to Mastery Program for Public School Teachers’ (AMP) and help bring this innovative professional development initiative to life,” said Gwynedd Mercy University President, Deanne H. D’Emilio, JD. “Not only will this program further prepare the future educators of tomorrow, but it will also enable and encourage teachers to have more impactful effects on their students.”

The Wolf Administration created the ATO in 2016. Since then, the office has registered 141 new program sponsors and 201 new apprenticeship programs or occupations, bringing the total number of registered apprentices to 16,892 statewide.

“Through Governor Wolf’s SWEAP proposal and PAsmart initiative, Pennsylvania is creating the nation’s strongest workforce,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “Apprenticeships play an important role in training our future and current workforce, and that is why the governor is proposing additional PAsmart funding to further improve access to education and training programs for our students and workers.”

Apprenticeship programs approved by the ATO provide employer-driven training to create a more productive, highly-skilled workforce for employers and help reduce employee turnover. The program provides job seekers with increased skills, and a nationally recognized credential to support future career advancement and increased wages.

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