The 2018 Manufacturing Apprenticeship Accelerator Forum took place in Cleveland on Thursday. The forum included presentations from a number of participating organizations, including the U.S. Department of Labor, the Ohio AFL-CIO, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, Chicago Women in Trades and the National Urban League, along with a number of private employers and workforce training providers.
The purpose of the program was to highlight the development of advanced manufacturing apprenticeships to address needed skills training and workforce development in advanced and specialized manufacturing. Representatives from labor unions, private employers, state and federal government, and manufacturing training providers offered an overview of their respective roles in expanding apprenticeship programs to match private-sector workforce needs.
"We're very pleased that so many affiliates came together with the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Department of Labor to share information about how to promote apprenticeships in manufacturing," said Brad Markell, executive director of the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute, which sponsored the event. "We put a special emphasis on how to increase diversity in manufacturing, and that will be a continuing effort for us."
The forum was organized by the Keystone Development Program (KDP), which was founded by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO in 2005 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. KDP assists unions and their employers to form and sustain labor-management training programs and registered apprenticeships. The KDP promotes labor management cooperation and supports workforce development programs to better serve the community. KDP aligns resources for career pathways to family-sustaining jobs.
"Through our close relationship with Keystone Development Partnership, our Commonwealth has benefited from an innovative approach to apprenticeship and workforce development," said Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale (AFSCME). "Pennsylvania has been successful in bringing multiple stakeholders together to address the future of work, ensuring that good, family-sustaining jobs are at the heart of the technological and advanced manufacturing workforce."
"It’s true that apprenticeship programs are one of the best kept secrets in the labor movement," said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga (USW). "These programs are an important linkage in our economy here in Ohio and across the country as they put thousands of Americans on a true pathway to the middle class."