Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship
Matt Hidalgo was working as a job coach when he entered the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program. He knew if he completed all of the requirements, he would earn a five-percent raise and a new job classification. Turns out, the apprenticeship resulted in more than a raise – he was offered a new job.
Before the apprenticeship ended the program’s sponsor, the California Workforce Association (CWA), tapped Hidalgo and two other apprentices for something bigger. The CWA offered them new positions as program managers working on statewide workforce issues. He says the program was not only a personal success but a win for the workforce development profession. Here’s Hidalgo, in his own words.
“The Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program has empowered me to succeed in the field of workforce development in ways unforeseen prior to starting the program. Before the apprenticeship program, there was no standard in job coaching or training in California. There is so much expected of service delivery staff and before this program, the knowledge was largely left to the staff person to ‘figure it out.’
“The apprenticeship program was implemented in a cohort model which has proven to be not only innovative, but has shown measurable success. This original program has given me the skills I need to take on every aspect of workforce development and to succeed in this field.
“The comprehensive curriculum that was administered was integral in helping me in my new position. With the partnership between the Sacramento State College of Continuing Education, the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, and the California Workforce Association (CWA), we were not only able to receive expert instruction from workforce system elites, but also subject matter experts to solidify certain concepts.
“Armed with new and upgraded skills, I have been hired by CWA, a statewide capacity-building, partnerships-garnering, and technical assistance provider to California’s workforce system. This program has taken me from the Sacramento Works local system and created a real pathway for mobility in the workforce system.
“I hope this is just the first step in a larger capacity-building effort to train and improve California’s workforce system. With this program in place, California’s workforce system is positioned to be the envy of the nation in efficiency, productivity, strategy, and most importantly job placement.”
Hidalgo completed the apprenticeship in 2016 as a graduate of the first cohort. He completed the nine-month Workforce Development Professional Certificate Program at the College of Continuing Education at Sacramento State and 2,080 hours of on-the-job training, the two requirements under the state-approved apprenticeship.
August 2017 Update: Congratulations Matt! He just received his first-year evaluation and he continues to impress his boss. Matt has been promoted to a program director at CWA and received a nice raise too.