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Release Number: 2022-08
Date: January 19, 2022

DAS Announces Solicitation for Proposals for State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation Grant

Oakland—The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) are announcing the availability of nearly $7.3 million in funds to expand apprenticeship in California to underserved communities including women, people of color, justice-involved persons, people with disabilities, veterans and youth.

Regional Workforce Development Boards and Apprenticeship Program Sponsors may qualify for the grant to work with community groups by developing and expanding apprenticeship programs to target populations that are traditionally underrepresented. DAS has outlined the steps and information required to participate on its Solicitation for Proposals website.

"Registered apprenticeship provides opportunities to people who historically haven’t had access to well-paying careers,” said DAS Chief Eric Rood. “This grant will ensure programs are created collaboratively with communities to address workforce needs while prioritizing diversity and inclusion.”

In June of 2021, the U.S Department of Labor announced DIR was a recipient of the State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation grant. The grant provides DIR and DAS the opportunity to offer $7,296,000 in grant funds to qualified workforce investment boards and the apprenticeship program sponsors that they work with.

The grant funds will support programs to increase access for target populations, align the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs, implement co-enrollment strategies, provide supportive services and create onramps to career pathways for underserved communities including those affected by COVID-19.

“This grant opportunity is an exciting one for California as we continuously look for ways to provide opportunities for workers to explore new careers,” said DIR Director Katie S. Hagen. “Apprenticeship is an earn-and-learn model that yields incredibly rewarding careers.”

The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards consults with employers to develop a skilled workforce, by establishing innovative apprenticeship programs that offer training, to create viable career pathways for Californians.

Contact: Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161