Governor’s Budget Proposal Makes Commitment to Apprenticeship Training
Governor Brown has made good on his previous statements to retool and reinvigorate the state’s workforce, making a multi-million dollar commitment to job-based training programs in his recent budget proposal.
The governor’s proposed budget, which was released in January, includes $17.8 million for increased reimbursements to K-12 and community college sponsored apprenticeship programs for instructional hours provided in 2018-19, with additional one-time increase of $30.6 million to backfill shortfalls in reimbursements provided from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
“For years, the Cal-JAC has maintained that apprenticeship is the best pathway to prepare firefighters for mastering their occupational skills and ultimately achieving success in their fire service careers,” said Dan Terry, chair of the Cal-JAC. “The time-tested apprenticeship model also ensures that new firefighters will be trained to standards that allow them to meet the ever-changing challenges that face our state. It is clearly in our state’s best interest to ensure the viability of existing and future apprenticeship program sponsors, which serve as the backbone of apprenticeship training in California.”
According to the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS), the overall number of active apprentices in California has increased by approximately 35 percent to 80,464 active apprentices as of December 30, 2017 – up from 53,366 active apprentices on December 30, 2014. Of those, there are nearly 9,000 registered firefighter apprentices in California, which is more than double the number from 2013.
“The huge increase in fire service apprentices is evidence that the apprenticeship model works,” said Cal-JAC executive director Yvonne de la Peña. “It’s refreshing to see the governor’s budget share our priorities when it comes to adequately funding apprentice programs, and we’re hopeful that the legislature will follow suit later this year.”