Apprenticeships badgeApprenticeships mix classroom training, industry credentials, and on-the-job training in a dish both well-balanced and filling, thanks to the average starting salary of $50,000.

In Germany, apprenticeships are a linchpin in development of the industrial sector, and a key ingredient to their economic resilience. However, this training approach has actually slowed down in the United States, where apprenticeships started to decline in 2008. Despite this decline, some American companies have shown that the model works in the United States. Last year, the New York Times reported the success of apprenticeship programs in South Carolina, where companies are following the lead of their European peers.

In order to expand apprenticeships in growing, high-skilled industries, the US Department of Labor announced yesterday that it is accepting applications (deadline April 30, 2015) for $100 million in grants to develop these training partnerships.

Apprenticeship grants will be awarded to public and private partnerships consisting of employers, business associations, joint labor-management organizations, labor organizations, community colleges, local and state governments, and other non-profit organizations. Successful applicants will use the federal funds to develop registered apprenticeship programs that align with other post-secondary education and create career pathways to long-term careers. The grants will also encourage greater access to apprenticeship opportunities for historically underrepresented populations including women, young men and women of color, people with disabilities, and veterans and transitioning service members.

The department expects to award approximately 25 grants, ranging from $2.5 million to $5 million. For more about apprenticeships, see the Department of Labor blog post Apprenticeship 101: Earn While You Learn, and see the department’s main apprenticeship page.