New Apprenticeship Focuses on Job Growth
Workforce Development Apprentice Program Unveiled

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“Apprenticeship means expertise. I will become an expert in the workforce development profession,” says Dianna Nash (center), who would like to become an apprentice in a new project directed by the College of Continuing Education (CCE) at Sacramento State. The Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program sharpens the professional skills of front line employees, who help unemployed workers on a daily basis.

Photo: Apprenticeship partners, left to right: Bob Lanter, California Workforce Association; Tim Taylor, Butte County Office of Education; Karmen Lee Ortloff, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Dianna Nash, Apprentice; Kathy Kossick, Sacramento Employment and Training Agency; Diane Ravnik, California Division of Apprenticeship Standards; Babette Jimenez, College of Continuing Education; Steve Gutierrez, Division of Apprenticeship Standards, Nov. 6, 2015. (Sharon Ito/College of Continuing Education)

Nash has spent nearly a quarter century in the workforce development profession, the last 10 years with the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA). With a bachelor’s degree in health science and a master’s degree in organizational management, she helps unemployed workers with job training and supportive services for families. But “education never stops,” says Nash, who would like to enter the new Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program that could serve as a model in California.

A group of SETA employees will spend nine months in a professional apprenticeship, earning “a demand-driven credential” that will advance their careers, says Kathy Kossick, the agency’s executive director. “We’re looking forward to getting more skills and more knowledge so they can continue to be the best qualified employees to provide services to our job seekers and our employers.”

The Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program combines 132 hours of classroom instruction at the College of Continuing Education (CCE) at Sacramento State, focused on leadership, project management, community relationships and customer service; 12 hours for preparing a final project and 2,080 hours of paid on-the-job training. “I’m looking to pick up more leadership and management skills to propel me to that next step in workforce development,” says Nash.

The state-approved apprenticeship involves a regional partnership between SETA; the California Workforce Association (CWA); the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Butte County Office of Education and CCE. “It’s critical for the staff of the workforce development system to be retooled with information and knowledge to close the skills gap,” says Bob Lanter, CWA’s executive director.

In celebration of the 2015 National Apprenticeship Week, the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) held a signing ceremony to register the new apprenticeship in California. This apprenticeship “helps create an acknowledged area of expertise,” says DAS chief Diane Ravnik, one that can be “recognized throughout the state and nationally.”

The Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program will launch in 2016. 

For more information, please visit the Workforce Development Professional web page. You can also contact CCE Senior Program Developer Babette Jimenez at (916) 278-6108 or email jimenezb@csus.edu.

The Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program was made possible in part by a grant from The Commission on the Extended University.