Arizona Apprenticeship Week: Governor Hobbs and DES Announce Critical Investments in Apprenticeships

As proclaimed by Governor Katie Hobbs, it’s Arizona Apprenticeship Week, which also coincides with National Apprenticeship Week. The Arizona Apprenticeship Program at DES is invigorated by the energy surrounding Arizona Apprenticeship Week, particularly with the announcements made over the past several days.

The Arizona Apprenticeship Program has expanded registered apprenticeships into industries beyond the traditional trades, including information technology, cybersecurity, healthcare, business services, and now, the semiconductor industry and early childhood education. DES currently supports more than 260 Registered Apprenticeship programs throughout the state, in which more than 6,700 apprentices are participating, which is an 82% increase over the past five years. However, DES is committed to developing many more apprenticeships in alignment with the Governor’s priorities, so Arizonans aspiring to enter into a new industry have the opportunity to do so.

Our goals are ambitious, but we must be prepared to meet the ambition of Arizona’s workforce. I am confident that through our partnerships with employers and the support of the Hobbs Administration, we will achieve our goals.

Expanding Construction Apprenticeships in Arizona

Kicking off Arizona Apprenticeship Week on Monday, Governor Hobbs announced additional steps to expand construction apprenticeships in Arizona. This comes with a $1.25 million investment on top of the initial $500,000 investment into the BuilditAZ Initiative that launched in August. The funds will be used to establish a Workforce Grants Office, which will partner with local and regional partners to secure federal workforce grants. Additionally, the State will launch the BuilditAZ Industry and Trades Marketing and Outreach Campaign, whereby aspiring individuals will be able to learn about the opportunity to enter into a trade, earning while they learn invaluable skills and build their careers. Through the BuilditAZ Initiative, Arizona will double the amount of construction and trades apprenticeships by 2026.

“The hands-on learning experience provided through apprenticeships, while earning a salary and gaining invaluable on-the-job experience, is one of the best tools we have to grow and retain our workforce. Demand is higher than ever, and as Governor, I will work tirelessly to make sure Arizonans have the skills they need to take full advantage of everything Arizona has to offer.” –Governor Katie Hobbs

Launching the First Apprenticeship in the Semiconductor Industry

Monday’s announcement was soon followed by Wednesday’s, when I joined Governor Hobbs to share the first-ever registered apprenticeship in the semiconductor industry in Arizona, the first of many to support the rapid expansion of the industry in Arizona. In order to build upon this momentum, the Arizona Commerce Authority will invest $4 million to support the growth of semiconductor apprenticeships, and DES will be expanding the Arizona Apprenticeship Program team to engage with employers and help register more apprenticeship programs.

Support for the semiconductor industry and Arizona’s workforce goes even further: DES will work with the Arizona Commerce Authority and the Governor’s Office to conduct a child care needs analysis for all industries, as well as needs and challenges specific to the semiconductor industry. While apprenticeships are a great opportunity that invites all who aspire to enter into new and emerging industries, child care can help alleviate many of the challenges that often prevent parents from developing their careers.

These two announcements are incredibly exciting for Arizona’s workforce, and I am grateful for the leadership of the Governor’s Office, fellow state agencies, community organizations and the employer community for investing in apprenticeships.

If you are an aspiring apprentice looking to build a long and successful career, or if you are an employer who wants support in establishing a Registered Apprenticeship program, please visit our website.

Angie Rodgers