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Ivy Tech Tapped By Federal Government To Pilot New Apprenticeship Program

By Justin Hicks, IPB News | Published on in Business, Education, Government, Technology
Apprentices taking a class with the Central Indiana Independent Electrical Contractors. (Courtesy Central Indiana IEC)
Apprentices taking a class with the Central Indiana Independent Electrical Contractors. (Courtesy Central Indiana IEC)

The U.S. Department of Labor says Indiana’s Ivy Tech Community College system will be one of 18 organizations in the country selected to develop a new model for apprenticeships. The new model aims to increase the number of apprenticeships by reducing federal requirements.

Ivy Tech will be classified as one of several “standards recognition entities” that are in charge of approving and monitoring a company’s adult apprenticeships. These Industry-Recognized Apprentice Programs, or IRAPS, contrast with DOL’s existing registered apprenticeships which have higher standards like pay raises and have minimum on-the-job training and classroom hours.

Teresa Hess, Ivy Tech executive director of apprenticeships, said she hopes to have about a dozen manufacturing sites in Indiana registered in the program by next fall.

“It’s a great opportunity for industries that maybe didn’t want to commit to the traditional registered apprenticeship program,” she said.

The new IRAP model is largely unpopular with labor unions across the country. They said it weakens quality and safety standards for workers while undermining traditional union apprenticeships.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.