TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed this week, November 12-17, Apprenticeship Week in Kansas. National Apprenticeship Week is an annual event to promote the essential role apprenticeships play in developing a skilled and vibrant workforce here in Kansas. In September 2022, Governor Kelly created the Office of Registered Apprenticeship within the Kansas Department of Commerce to promote the creation of registered apprenticeships as a tool for developing the state’s workforce.
The Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship will present the 2nd Annual National Apprenticeship Week Summit on Tuesday at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Training Facility in Wichita in conjunction with Apprenticeship USA’s National Apprenticeship Week.
“Kansas is all in on Registered Apprenticeships,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “A year after I created the Office of Registered Apprenticeship, it’s clear that providing more Kansans the opportunity to get on-the-job training is a win-win for employers and for our workforce. We will continue to invest in apprenticeships – including for teachers and for those wanting to enter the skilled trades – so that more people have the skills necessary to get a job and contribute to our economy.”
In September, Governor Kelly celebrated a nearly 40% increase in Kansans participating in registered apprenticeships since the creation of the Office of Registered Apprenticeship one year before.
“As Kansas continues to attract and create jobs by the thousands, registered apprenticeships are helping fill our state’s most in-demand and high-wage occupations,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Governor Kelly’s decision one year ago to establish the Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship is paying great dividends to Kansans all across the state.”
This week’s summit will feature a diverse range of activities, including:
- Keynote speaker Joshua Johnson, a nationally recognized expert with Jobs for the Future;
- Panel discussions on topics including Traditional Occupations, Non-Traditional Occupations, Apprenticeships at Community Colleges, and Apprenticeships for People with Diverse Abilities; and
- Networking opportunities with other professionals in the Registered Apprenticeship ecosystem.
“The Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship is excited to host this event for the second year,” Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship Director Shonda Anderson said. “Apprenticeships have been the best-kept secret for far too long. This event allows us to celebrate the contributions of our apprentices as well as highlight the pivotal role registered apprenticeships play in developing professional skills across a wide range of industries.”
In July, Governor Kelly announced that Kansas was selected to participate in the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship. The academy provides the Kansas Collaborative for Youth Apprenticeship, a working group of state officials and stakeholders in education and industry, a yearlong opportunity to develop policy agendas to advance high-quality youth apprenticeship opportunities.
“Our organization’s dedication to apprenticeship programs is rooted in the belief that they are essential for addressing the skills gap, promoting industry growth, and providing individuals with viable, high-quality career opportunities,” said John Clark, Training Director for Plumbers & Pipefitters Local Union #441. “We recognize the importance of fostering a skilled workforce and are actively exploring opportunities to enable us to expand our apprenticeship offerings and provide more individuals with valuable career pathways.”
To learn more about the Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship, including the Kansas Youth Apprenticeship Collaborative, visit the new resource page here.
A copy of the proclamation can be found here.