KDP has developed the Registered Apprenticeship (RA) Navigator program for workforce intermediaries to expand apprenticeship throughout the Commonwealth. The RA Navigator is an apprenticeship program that trains people to start apprenticeship programs. RA Navigators help grow the apprenticeship ecosystem through regional partnerships and provide technical assistance to unions, employers, industry associations, community organizations, training providers, and the workforce system. The one-year apprenticeship program includes 2,000 hours of on-the-job training (OJT) plus 144 hours of Related Technical Instruction (RTI). The program also uses an online collaboration to support the RTI, facilitate discussions, and provide additional resources.
The pilot of the RA Navigator apprenticeship program kicked off in September 2019 in Southeast PA and finished in 2020. A second statewide cohort began in April 2021 and a third began in October, both of which will continue into 2022. Representatives from multiple PA CareerLink® offices, Workforce Development Boards, unions, employers, community colleges and other training providers, the PA Office of Administration, and the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) are represented amongst the 55 Navigators provided training to date.
The first cohort of Navigators completed their RTI in late 2020. As they graduated from the program and received their journeyworker credentials, they became members of the Keystone Apprenticeship Alliance, the programmatic capstone and central long-term impact outcome of the RA Navigator Program. The KAA is envisioned as a network of intermediaries able to assist unions and employers to expand apprenticeship programs into new occupations and industries. It meets monthly to collaborate on current apprenticeship development projects, share resources and best practices, and network internally to meet the needs of employers and other apprenticeship partners as they stand up new programs. As more Navigator cohorts are completed, more members will join the KAA. Each will bring their own salient perspective on apprenticeship opportunities within their own local networks. By continuing to guide and oversee the activities of the KAA, KDP will maintain an active role in coordinating the expansion of apprenticeship throughout the state.
All applicants must be employed full-time by an employer who will help facilitate the apprentice’s OJT. Candidates may apply for advanced placement. There is no charge for participation. Space is limited.