A Look Back on National Apprenticeship Week 2022!

The SEPA (Southeastern Pennsylvania) region was bustling with events last week as we joined with the rest of the country to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2022! National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a nationwide celebration with events that highlight the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship programs.  

ApprenticeshipPHL, started the week hosting a kickoff event in partnership with the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), Philadelphia Academies Inc., and Chubb. Local leaders including Carol de Fries, Vice President of Workforce and Economic Innovation at CCP, Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Jim Foti, U.S. Department of Labor’s Regional Director and our very own Patrick Clancy, Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia Works, Inc opened the event Monday morning. The highlight of the event featured two fireside chats, where we heard from pre-apprentices currently in Philadelphia Academies’ Early Childhood Education pre-apprenticeship and an apprentice from Chubb’s Underwriting apprenticeship program. The pre-apprentices and apprentice shared their successes, challenges, and how the apprenticeship programs have personally impacted them through their career journeys thus far. The kickoff event was held at CCP’s new Career and Advanced Technology Center in West Philadelphia.  

The week continued with several events and various open houses at labor and skilled trade facilities. Our partners at the Families Achieving Success Together (F.A.S.T.) Foundation hosted a virtual apprenticeship 101 session that was moderated by Philadelphia Works’ Liz Pisarczyk. During the session, F.A.S.T. highlighted several pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs and allowed for Q&A for community members interested in learning more about apprenticeships. Philadelphia Works’ Apprenticeship staff also visited the Finishing Trades Institute and took a tour of the training facilities. Not only did we see the equipment and classrooms, but we spoke to current apprentices who shared their experiences, challenges, and successes in their respective trades.  

On Thursday, which was National “Women in Apprenticeship” Day, our partners at the Philadelphia Apprentice Network (PAN) hosted a panel – “Celebrating Women in Apprenticeships” – which highlighted women apprentices across a variety of industries. The panel was moderated by Summer Search’s Executive Director Sylvia McKinney and included current apprentices from Accenture and Aon, a graduated Journeyworker, and current recruitment coordinator for the IBEW Local 98, and an Operations Manager and Apprenticeship Supervisor from Zurich North America. The panelists answered questions around their journey to apprenticeships and how they will continue to “lift as they climb” to bring more women into their respective apprenticeship spaces.  

We completed the week with an open house community event at the Laborers’ Training Center – Samuel Staten Sr. Building in North Philly, sponsored by our partners at the Laborer’s District Council, F.A.S.T. Foundation, and AFSCME District Council 47. During this event, attendees heard from leaders in the building trades on the importance and benefits of apprenticeships. Attendees who were interested in applying and learning more about apprenticeships were able to talk to sponsors and training providers about application requirements and enrollment dates.  

To further celebrate the importance of apprenticeship programs, Philadelphia Works’ Director of Apprenticeship and Training, Rebecca Ambrose, along with other partners, represented ApprenticeshipPHL during the city’s council meeting. A resolution recognizing November 14-20, 2022, as National Apprenticeship Week was introduced by Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson. The resolution was unanimously approved by members of council further solidifying the benefits of apprenticeship programs for the entire City of Philadelphia.  

As we reflect on NAW 2022, we understand that apprenticeship ecosystems thrive due to successful partnerships. We thank all our partners in this work including the F.A.S.T. Foundation, PAN, the Office of Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson, PA Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO), U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship, CCP, Philadelphia Academies, and Chubb. While we celebrate apprenticeships annually, apprenticeships are growing and thriving 365 days per year. To learn more about apprenticeships, email us at info@apprenticeshipphl.org.