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First of Its Kind Apprenticeship Navigator Program Helps Employers Create Apprenticeships

By Adina Tayar, Regional Apprenticeship Coordinator, EDSI Solutions

Registered Apprenticeship has become an exciting national movement, touching almost every industry. Often on the minds of almost every workforce development board across the country is the question ‘how can we grow apprenticeship’.  Employers want to create them, and job seekers want to find them. 

Many industry buzzwords come and go, but Registered Apprenticeship is a time-honored tradition that experienced recent resurgence.  That resurgence, using apprenticeship to train, retain and develop employees and provide satisfying, family-sustaining career paths, is more important now than ever, considering our trained worker shortages. Did you know 94% of apprentices retain employment after apprenticeship completion? 

As Registered Apprenticeship diversifies across the U.S.A., the Philadelphia area is no exception, thanks to a growing commitment to apprenticeship.  Workforce service provider, EDSI has been at the forefront of this movement by having its local team members become apprentices in the first ever Apprenticeship Navigator Registered Apprenticeship cohort in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  

In 2019, three EDSI representatives started their apprenticeship path to become Apprenticeship Navigators. The unique one-year program, sponsored and run by Keystone Development Partnership, trains people to develop and manage apprenticeship programs. 

Six months ago, the first cohort of EDSI professionals graduated and the spark was lit. EDSI’s apprentices have since begun to build and implement apprenticeship programs with our employers and training providers, with the goal of helping develop a highly-skilled workforce that helps job seekers earn a paycheck while receiving hands-on training and instruction.

Since completing their apprenticeship program and becoming Apprenticeship Navigators, representatives from Philadelphia, Montgomery County and Bucks County will have created 8 apprenticeships with 15 partners, demonstrating the complex and collaborative path building a quality apprenticeship can take. These apprenticeships are mainly in IT and manufacturing and are being created by training providers, unions and fast-growing companies, but it’s important to note that any industry can utilize an apprenticeship as a way to retain and upskill current employees and recruit motivated new employees.

One of our employer partners shared their experience working with our Apprenticeship Navigators to help him implement a formalized apprenticeship program at his thermostatic technology company:

With the challenges of employee retention and finding skilled talent, we decided to explore an internal apprentice program to build on the success we already had in cross-training and promoting our associates. We were thrilled to discover EDSI had professionals solely dedicated to apprenticeship to help us create a comprehensive apprentice program that is designed to work within our organizational structure.  We plan to hire our first apprentice in January and then build the program to 3 or 4 skilled machinists to help us support our anticipated company growth.

James Sykes, Human Resources Director, ThermOmegaTech, Inc.

EDSI is excited to be part of the movement to provide more in-depth access, education and development for apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities throughout Philadelphia and its surrounding counties. 

To learn more about how EDSI helps employers and training providers start apprenticeship programs, email [email protected]

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