I believe deeply in Registered Apprenticeship programs because I've seen how they can change lives. Since my very first day as Secretary of Labor, I've called apprenticeship one of America's best-kept secrets. It's been 75 years since the National Apprenticeship Act was signed, and in that time, apprenticeships have come a long way to advance the quality and breadth of training available to America's workers. We have reinvented apprenticeships in ways never imagined back then.
Tomorrow, the Labor Department will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act by hosting a "National Education and Action Summit." This summit will bring together leaders in the apprenticeship community to look ahead at the exciting and extraordinary future of apprenticeship.
As part of this celebration, the Department will recognize trailblazers and innovators from throughout the Registered Apprenticeship system for their long-standing success and innovative approaches to training U.S. workers. Today, I was greatly honored to invite these leaders to the Department of Labor for a rooftop gathering and thank them for their continued focus on innovative training programs.
The programs selected for recognition come from a wide range of industries and geographic locations. Yet, they all share a unique understanding of how a combination of mentor-based, on-the-job training and classroom instruction can provide a worker with the skills needed to not only do a job, but become a respected journeyworker throughout his or her career.
Thanks to their efforts, yesterday's bricklayers are becoming today's building retrofitters. They are training computer programmers, pharmacy techs, and even young doctors at the Center for Disease Control to improve patient care. They are fostering partnerships with employers, community colleges and state workforce agencies to maximize that growth and expand our reach.
The U.S. Department of Labor is excited to highlight these programs and encourage efforts to make Registered Apprenticeship bigger, better and strong.
For a complete list of Registered Apprenticeship's Trailblazers and Innovators, please visit the Registered Apprecticeship Community of Practice.
Tomorrow's National Education and Action Summit will begin at 8:30 am EDT and will be live-streamed on the Labor Department's website at http://www.dol.gov/live. To follow the event live on Twitter and/or join the conversation, use the hashtag #RA75th.