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Release Number: 2023-23
Date: March 16, 2023

DAS Announces First-in-the-Nation Registered Apprenticeship Formula Funding: Apprenticeship Innovation Funding (AIF)
State program will help expand registered apprenticeships across many sectors

Oakland—The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) are excited to announce the launch of a groundbreaking funding initiative, Apprenticeship Innovation Funding (AIF). This program will help fund and scale registered apprenticeship programs in new sectors for apprenticeship such as such as IT, Cyber Security, Healthcare, and more. AIF will be deploying up to $55 million in this budget year.

“Employers in all sectors are increasingly recognizing the value of growing their own talent through registered apprenticeships as they compete for skilled workers on a global scale,” said DAS Deputy Chief Adele Burnes. “AIF demonstrates California’s commitment to growing registered apprenticeships through this innovative formula funding, which will support both workers and job creators to thrive in our state.”

AIF supports registered apprenticeship program sponsors and other stakeholders by covering costs associated with administering their registered apprenticeship programs and training apprentices. The funding differs from other apprenticeship funding in that eligible programs do not have to compete for this money. AIF funding is accessible to all registered apprenticeship programs in sectors associated with the Interagency Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (IACA), which includes all sectors outside of the building and fire trades. AIF provides formula funding for registered apprenticeship program sponsors by allowing reimbursement for program expenditures including outreach, recruitment, assessment, mentorship and administrative oversight. AIF also provides financial support for training that includes payments to academic institutions to defray instructional costs for IACA occupations.

DAS is scheduled to release $55 million in the first round of the Apprenticeship Innovation Funding. The timelines for submissions in Fiscal Year 2022-2023 are:

  • March 16, 2023 – Submissions for Reimbursement Open 
  • May 11, 2023 at noon PST – Deadline for Submissions
  • May-June – Review and Processing of Submissions
  • July-September – Estimated Payment Window

DAS will host a webinar to share more information about AIF and the process to submit for reimbursement on Thursday, March 16. More information about AIF can be found on the DAS website.

Over 80 percent of apprenticeships in California are currently in the “traditional” building, construction or fire trades. The State has an opportunity to expand apprenticeship into all other industry sectors, by taking the effective strategies and learnings from “traditional” apprenticeship programs and applying them to proactively develop the workforce in “non-traditional” sectors.

California is the national leader in registered apprenticeships. It has five times the number of registered apprentices as the state with the next highest total. As industries confront worker shortages in sectors like healthcare, transportation, information technology and the public sector, the number of registered apprenticeship programs continues to grow dramatically in California and across the country to meet that challenge. 

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