ESAC 2024


State of the State

Pennsylvania: State of the State

State of PA ESAC 2024 Conference

Apprenticeship and Training Office (ATO), Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Details



1) Increase the number of Registered Apprenticeship (RA) opportunities in Pennsylvania.

2) Expand apprenticeship into non-traditional occupations and serve underrepresented


3) Raise awareness about the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship and how to access them.

4) Advocate for apprenticeship as a premier solution to meeting workforce needs.

5) Provide programs the support and resources needed to align with PA standards and practices.

6) Assist existing apprenticeship programs and ensure compliance with all regulations, standards,

and guidance.


Staffing and Division Creation:

The PA ATO’s contingent of eight fulltime staff positions in the beginning of 2023 has increased to a total complement of 22 fulltime permanent positions. At the end of the calendar year, 17 of these positions remain filled with plans to fill all remaining positions by mid-2024, including two Pre-Apprenticeship and Training Representatives dedicated to supporting the Pre-Apprenticeship Division.

  • As a result of the need for additional staff and complement growth, increased funding support, and the establishment of required audit and compliance efforts, the ATO has created 4 distinct divisions including the Administrative Division; Field Division; Pre-apprenticeship Division; and the Grants, Statistical Development, and Compliance Division.


2023 Accomplishments:

  • A Staffing Contingent Increase
  • Expanded Quality Assurance Efforts
  • Commonwealth Data System of Record (CWDS) Pre-Apprenticeship Pathway Buildout Began
  • Pennsylvania-Specific Knowledge Products Creation Progressed
  • Continued Concentration on Apprenticeship Integration into the Workforce System
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Growth
  • Increased Focus on Equity
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration
  • Expansion of Registered Apprenticeship into New Sectors
  • National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) Success
  • ApprenticeshipPA Sponsorship & Awards


2024 Priorities:

  • Sector Strategies
  • Expansion of the Pre-Apprenticeship Division
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration
  • Targeted Workforce System Outreach and Education


Additional details related to everything in this report can be found by accessing the ATO 2023 Progress Report and the 2023 Pennsylvania Apprenticeship and Training Council (PATC) Chairperson’s Report.


2023 Numbers

2023 Registered Apprenticeship Highlights

  • New Programs Presented to Council for Registration: 38
  • New Programs Registered: 32
  • New Apprentices Registered: 5,766
  • Completed Apprentices: 2,991
  • Total Active Apprentices: 21,980
  • Total Unique Program Sponsors: 880
  • Total Active Programs at Year End: 1,557
  • Total Active Apprentices at Year End: 16,982


2023 Pre-Apprenticeship Highlights

  • 117 Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Programs
  • 60 Programs affiliated with Career & Technical Education (CTE)
  • 81 Programs serving High School Youth
  • 1,064 Active Pre-Apprentices at end 2023
  • 325 Pre-Apprentices Completed during second half of year
  • 100+ Trainings and Events attended by ATO’s Pre-RA Division


Interesting PA Apprenticeship Statistics & Trends

  • 38 new programs were presented to Council in 2023 and 32 were approved.
  • The number of apprenticeship programs registered annually nearly doubled between 2022 and 2023, from 18 to 32.
  • New apprentices registered grew 23% year-on-year, from 4,693 in 2022 to 5,766 in 2023.
  • Based on data from the 2022 federal fiscal year report and compared to other states in our region, PA leads in the number of active apprentices, new apprentices, and apprenticeship completers.
  • In 2023, Pennsylvania was 10th In the U.S. for completed apprenticeships and 11th for number of Registered Active Apprentices.
  • The average journeyworker wage for the top 20 apprenticed occupations was $26.96.
  • The number of new sector apprenticeship programs is growing fast. For example, 8% of healthcare RAs, 26% of technology RAs, and 25% of agriculture RAs were registered over the past year alone.
  • Apprentices in new sectors also grew rapidly over the past year. While the number of apprentices in the Building Trades and Manufacturing grew 21% and 30% respectively, the number of healthcare apprentices increased 86%, agricultural apprentices increased 120%, and education apprentices by an extraordinary 750%.
  • The number of female apprentices also continues to grow, from 7.1% of all apprentices in 2022 to 10.4% in 2023. The 46% year-on-year increase was driven by the growth of new sector programs.



PA Apprenticeship Grant Initiatives:

Apprenticeship Building America (ABA) Grant Progresses

The PA ATO and L&I was one of 30 initial recipients nationwide who was awarded grant funding through the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2022 ABA initiative. The $3.9 million grant will support at least 400 apprentices and 400 pre-apprentices in PA over four years. In 2023, the ATO partnered with 10 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in their efforts to use these funds to expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities among underrepresented populations in their respective regions. Additionally, an outcome of the grant will be to assist each involved LWDB create a strategic plan for apprenticeship in their perspective areas.


State Apprenticeship Expansion Formula (SAEF) Grant Received

In July, the ATO received $1.2 million in SAEF funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. With this funding, the ATO has worked to accelerate efforts to support the growing apprenticeship ecosystem in PA by building stronger partnerships with the State and local workforce and education system, improving data collection, establishing or expanding the role of the business service representative or apprenticeship navigators, building statewide capacity by hiring additional staff, improving employer engagement, and improving/developing marketing and advertising materials for apprenticeship.


Nursing Pathway Funding Initiatives Released and Awarded

In February 2023, the ATO awarded funding to three LWDBs to support the convening of Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnerships in low- or moderate-income communities and guide the development and registration of healthcare apprenticeship programs, with an emphasis on nursing occupations, through group sponsorships. The goal is to blend the Apprenticeship and


In April, the ATO released an additional round of NWI funding via its Creating Nursing Pathways in Pennsylvania through Apprenticeships initiative, awarding over $503,000 in funding to support the development of new or expanded apprenticeship programs with emphasis on nursing occupations. While the first round of funding focused on supporting local workforce development boards, this opportunity expanded eligibility to include any interested and eligible organizations. Two



Pennsylvania Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership 

In February 2023, the ATO awarded three local workforce development boards a total of $696,155 in funding to support the convening of Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnerships in low- or moderate-income communities and guide the development and registration of healthcare apprenticeship programs, with an emphasis on nursing occupations, through group sponsorships. The goal is to blend the Apprenticeship and Industry Partnership models by supporting the creation of Nursing Pathway Apprenticeships using an Industry Partnership approach throughout the commonwealth.


As a follow-up to the Pennsylvania Nursing Pathway Apprenticeship Industry Partnership grant initiative, the ATO plans to release approximately $1,000,000 in a second round of funding to support the development of new or expansion of existing Nursing Pathway apprenticeship programs with emphasis on nursing occupations, through individual or group sponsorships. While the first round of funding focused on supporting local workforce development boards, this opportunity will expand eligibility to include any interested organizations. The NGA for this initiative is currently in process and is expected to be released in late March or early April 2023.


PAsmart Apprenticeship & Pre-Apprenticeship Grants Progress

Since implementing the PAsmart initiatives in 2018, L&I has invested over $28 million in PAsmart funding statewide to support 124 projects in the accommodation and food service, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, professional and business services, early childhood development, education, electric power generation, healthcare and social assistance, information technology, animal production, administrative and support services, transportation, building and construction, and manufacturing sectors. As a direct result of PAsmart funding, 85 new pre-apprenticeship and 102 new apprenticeship programs have been created, reaching a total of 2,116 apprentices and 2,110 pre-apprentices across the Commonwealth through grant-funded initiatives. Additionally, 3,926 employers and 1,565 training providers have been engaged through PAsmart.


PAsmart Broadband Initiative Announced

The PAsmart Supporting Broadband Infrastructure through Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeships initiative was released in April 2023, with approximately $800,000 in funding awarded to four organizations to expand and support existing RA and/or Pre-RA Programs in broadband-related occupations with a specific focus on developing diverse talent pipelines and serving underrepresented populations. Projects under this initiative were recently launched.


Teacher Apprenticeship Initiative Announced

In September, L&I issued a Notice of Grant Availability (NGA) seeking proposals that will develop a registered apprenticeship (RA) framework, create a pathway for individuals (concentrating on paraprofessionals) to become certified educators, create a sustainable funding plan to support long-term programming, assist in conducting outreach, and create a package for school districts to adopt and utilize. The NGA was developed in partnership with the ATO and the Bureau of Workforce Development (BWDA). L&I also engaged the PDE to obtain feedback on the final NGA draft. The selected applicant was awarded recently and is expected to launch their project early in 2024. Upon the completion of the RA framework, a second NGA will be made available with the opportunity for school districts to apply and develop their local apprenticeship program and will include additional resources from a technical entity who will work hand-in-hand with the awardees. The technical advisor will support the awarded entities with the local RA program development and in the implementation of their local RA programming.