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Growing number of apprenticeships means more outreach work for the labor department

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Department of Labor seeks to capitalize on the growing number of apprenticeships throughout the state.

State lawmakers passed a bill expanding opportunities for apprenticeships programs throughout the state, by requiring any contractors working on large public works projects to offer training or apprenticeships.

The Delaware Department of Labor anticipates the number of apprenticeships to increase significantly as a result, and is seeking funds to ensure people take advantage of the programs.

Labor Secretary Karryl Hubbard is asking for a new marketing position to help with outreach.

“This outreach and marketing work is key as there is the potential for a large number of Delawareans who miss training opportunities, job search assistance, expungement services, case management services and much more,” Hubbard said. “Delawareans may not know of virtual and on-site job fairs throughout Delaware — and would miss hiring events and other services that we provide.”

Hubbard says employers also miss out on opportunities to find people who may be well qualified to work for them.

The Labor Dept. is also seeking a position in the new Labor Law Enforcement Unit, established back in the spring.

Hubbard says they’d be the point of contact for employers of apprentices.

“They will also support other stakeholders such as related technical training providers, the Department of Education, respective apprentices, current apprentices and journey workers, all who may need assistance from this office,” she said.

The department is only seeking an additional $115 thousand in general funds this year, to fund those two positions.

Last year, the DOL received over $700 thousand added to its budget; but almost all of that funding went towards a new scholarship program for Delaware residents enrolled in non-degree certificate programs.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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