Apprenticeship programs integrate systematic on-the-job training, guided by an experienced master-level practitioner in an occupation, with classroom instruction. The federal government, in cooperation with the states, registers apprenticeship programs that meet federal and state standards. The best programs—which provide multiple industries with highly skilled workers who earn family-sustaining wages—are registered with government agencies, operated by sponsors representing labor and management organizations and funded through collectively bargained contributions to tax-exempt trust funds.
Effective training is the cornerstone of successful building and construction careers. By offering training and apprenticeship programs, building trades unions help shape the futures of America’s workers. The 100th Anniversary of Registered Apprenticeships, celebrated in 2011, marks a century of U.S. building and construction trades unions delivering high-quality training, recognized at the federal, state and local levels. By working with unions through training and apprenticeship programs, employers recognize the excellence achieved through the collective bargaining process, in which both sides negotiate contracts, which pay good wages, deliver health and retirement security and assist workers in building careers they take pride in.
For decades, manufacturing unions have provided workers with rigorous apprenticeship programs that equip them with the skills to maintain and operate the machinery that keeps America moving. Manufacturing unions have delivered training programs to workers that give them the skills to innovate and meet the demands of global competitiveness in a constantly changing environment.