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Apprenticeship Program in Pennsylvania

Keystone Development Partnership (KDP) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2005 by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO with a mission to create labor management and workforce development programs that serve local communities. One of the primary ways KDP serves this mission is by helping to catalyze training and apprenticeship programs.


Apprenticeship programs are employer-driven training programs that are helping businesses meet their needs for qualified workers in more than 1,000 occupations across sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, transportation, and energy.


Typically lasting between 1 and 4 years in length, apprenticeships combine on-the-job learning with job related classroom training, building worker skills and establish pathways to higher levels of employment and wages. They can include one or multiple companies, can be time-based or competency-based, and are fully customizable to meet specific employer needs.


Apprenticeships are win-win, benefitting both employers and workers. Employers gain talent with the specific skills their businesses need to compete and grow. Apprenticeships contribute to higher performance outcomes and reduce worker turnover by fostering greater employee loyalty. The mentorship-oriented training approach also allows companies to preserve the institutional knowledge possessed by their retiring workforce.


Apprentices earn a competitive wage from day one, providing workers with an opportunity to earn-while-they-learn. They gain knowledge with structured classroom learning and on-the-job training, and receive an industry recognized credential that helps them advance their career. Apprentices also often earn academic credits that can be applied towards an advanced degree.


KDP is currently engaged in a number of activities that are building the apprenticeship ecosystem in Pennsylvania, including:

  • Supporting the Pennsylvania Apprenticeship & Training Office (ATO) to conduct outreach and work with businesses to launch new or expand existing Registered Apprenticeship (RA) and Pre-Apprenticeship (Pre-RA) programs.

  • Creating an Apprenticeship Intermediary RA program to increase the support available to start new RA and Pre-RA programs in the Commonwealth.

  • Facilitating the distribution of funds to support diverse apprentices in Pennsylvania.

If you are interested in starting or supporting an apprenticeship program, KDP can help. KDP assists companies with all aspects of developing apprenticeship programs, including registration, customizing curriculum, identify training partners, and validating work processes. The program supports training providers to sponsor and manage apprenticeship programs and develop related curriculum. And KDP helps public agencies develop and grow apprenticeship initiatives, including assistance with program management, staff capacity building, and employer and union engagement.


The costs of the services provided to manufacturers and other organizations by KDP are underwritten by the PA Apprenticeship and Training and the US Department of Labor.


To learn more about their work, please visit kdpworks.org or contact John Tkach, Executive Director, jtkach@kdpworks.org.

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