National Apprenticeship Week 2021

See pictures from throughout the week!

U.S. Labor Secretary Walsh, Governor McKee, DLT Director Weldon visit Building Futures.

National Apprenticeship Week Message from our Executive Director

Happy National Apprenticeship Week!

Building Futures was honored to kick off our national apprenticeship celebrations earlier this month with a visit from U.S. Labor Secretary Walsh. Secretary Walsh, Governor McKee, and DLT Director Weldon toured our construction pre-apprenticeship program and held a round table discussion with multiple industry leaders on expanding equity and opportunity through workforce investments. Secretary Walsh also took the time to talk with our pre-apprenticeship participants about his own start as a Laborer in Massachusetts and about the tremendous opportunities Registered Apprenticeship offers.

Read more about the visit here.

We couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off the celebration. At Building Futures, we are expanding opportunities that have the power to transform lives and communities– Registered Apprenticeship creates remarkable opportunities. Given the economic challenges facing Rhode Islanders today, our work to strengthen and expand Registered Apprenticeship has never been more vital.

We are celebrating the remarkable results of this transformative work with events throughout the week. Learn more here: Advisory for 2021 NAW.
  • 38 new (non-construction) occupations now have Registered Apprenticeships
  • 42 Registered Apprenticeship programs have launched with 100+ employers
  • 1571 new apprentices are earning while learning in private industry statewide
  • 45% of apprentices across all industries are from underrepresented populations
  • Our pre-apprenticeship has graduated and placed 330+ low-income adults in building and construction registered apprenticeships
  • 120+ pre-apprenticeship graduates have completed their apprenticeships, and earn, on average, $39 per hour plus healthcare and retirement benefits

A 2020 National Governor’s Association report found that, despite our small size, Rhode Island has one of the top ten initiatives in the country. Since 2017, we have met 247% of our RA program development goals.

With Registered Apprenticeship now firmly established in both construction and non-construction occupations, we are working with DLT to use Registered Apprenticeship to help industries solve big economic development challenges. Stay tuned this week to learn more.

Thanks to your partnership and commitment, we are moving apprenticeship forward to benefit Rhode Islanders and strengthen Rhode Island industry.

Andrew Cortés

Executive Director

Governor McKee Visits Building Futures’ Construction Pre-Apprenticeship

Tuesday, 11/16/2021

Senate President Ruggerio hosts National Apprenticeship Week Event to highlight Accomplishments in Registered Apprenticeship Expansion and the Road Ahead.

When: Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 11:30 am

Where: RI State House, Room 313

Providence, RI. Senate President Ruggerio will host an event as part of a week-long national and state celebration of Registered Apprenticeship (RA). Building Futures and invited speakers will discuss the critical role Registered Apprenticeship is playing as Rhode Island rebounds from the economic disruption due to COVID-19. Critical accomplishments and progress to date will be detailed in a written report.

“Thanks to state and federal investments, Rhode Island’s Registered Apprenticeship system has expanded to nontraditional industries while bolstering existing programs,” said Senate President Ruggerio. “Apprenticeships create opportunity for employers while providing proven, effective earn-as-you-learn pathways to careers.”

“Registered Apprenticeship is the original four-year degree. Our quality RA programs have trained generations of skilled tradesmen and women for over 100 years. Construction is one of Rhode Island’s fastest-growing industries, but with an aging workforce, we need to increase apprenticeship opportunities to meet the rising demand for skilled workers,” said Michael Sabitoni, President of RI Building and Construction Trades Council.

“Registered Apprenticeship is a proven model that RINLA is applying to green and plant-based industries. Our new multi-employer apprenticeship programs for landscape/horticultural technicians and arborist create a path for living wage employment for Rhode Islanders. We are building resilient communities,” said Shannon Brawley, Executive Director of RI Nursery and Landscape Association.

“Registered Apprenticeship is helping first-generation immigrant women who face multiple barriers to upskilling their credentials in a traditional way,” said Dulari Tahbildar, Director, RI Child Care Training Program, SEIU Education and Support Fund. “RI’s Family Child Care Providers are sole proprietors, running quality child care businesses from their homes. We have taken an innovative approach to expanding and strengthening the early childhood education workforce via Registered Apprenticeship to meet these challenges,” Tahbildar continued.

“We know Registered Apprenticeship works – both for employers to develop talent and workers to gain occupational skills for a genuine career.  If we truly want to build back better, we have to apply time-tested models that work in new, innovative, and equitable ways. Far too often, communities are left on the sidelines of economic recovery. With Registered Apprenticeship, we are expanding economic opportunity for all,” said Andrew Cortés, Executive Director Building Futures.

Stay tuned throughout the week to follow along as we share the stories of how Registered Apprenticeship Works for Rhode Island.

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Rhode Island Apprenticeship Week Events:

Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 9:00-9:30 am, Building Futures, 1 Acorn Street, Providence, RI

Governor McKee

Governor McKee to sign a proclamation declaring the week Rhode Island Apprenticeship Week with Building Futures’ construction pre-apprenticeship class.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, RI State House, Room 313

Senate President Ruggerio

Senate President Ruggerio to host a press conference and educational event with the RI Senate to highlight the accomplishments of Registered Apprenticeship expansion and discuss the road ahead.  Invited speakers are Andrew Cortés, Executive Director, Building Futures; Michael Sabitoni, President, RI Building and Construction Trades Council; Shannon Brawley, Executive Director, RI Nursery & Landscape Association; and Dulari Tahbildar, Rhode Island Director, SEIU Education & Support Fund.  Building Futures will release a 2021 National Apprenticeship Week report at the event.

Friday, November 19, 2021, 9:30-10:00 am, Building Futures, 1 Acorn Street, Providence RI, 02903

Congressional Delegation members to address Building Futures’ construction pre-apprenticeship participants on their graduation day highlighting how infrastructure investments can make lasting brick and mortar improvements and create life-changing career opportunities for low-income Rhode Island residents.

 Additionally, outreach and education events will be held throughout the week, including:

  • Information session at the MET high school for students interested in a career in the trades
  • Recognizing DLT certification of the quality pre-apprenticeship program operated by the NE Laborers’ Public Charter School in Cranston, Wednesday, 10:00 am, 4 Sharpe Drive, Cranston, RI, 02920
  • Outreach about Registered Apprenticeship opportunities at the Center for Southeast Asians’ Cultural Food Giveaway and Job Fair, 11/17, 11:30 am, 270 Elmwood Ave., Providence, RI 02907
  • Kick-off meeting of the Apprenticeship Utilization Program at upcoming construction at Newport’s Rogers High School
  • Presentation to Providence Career and Technical Academy students on Registered Apprenticeship opportunities
  • IBEW Local 99 will extend the application period in honor of National Apprenticeship Week, accepting applications to become an electrician apprentice Monday- Friday (11/15-11/19) 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, 40 Western Industrial Drive, Cranston, Rhode Island 02921
  • We Make RI advanced manufacturing career fair Thursday, 11/18, 1:00 pm: We Make RI advanced manufacturing career fair for job seekers looking for entry level positions and apprenticeships. 200 1st Avenue, Cranston, Rhode Island 02910
  • Building Futures’ Board of Directors meeting on the future of Registered Apprenticeship in Rhode Island
  • RI Building & Construction Trades Council meeting on the expansion of Registered Apprenticeship program utilization on current construction projects
  • Presentation to the RIDE Counseling Professional Development Session on Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for young adults
  • Strategic Discussion: Exploring how Registered Apprenticeship can address the shortage of public school teachers with the RI AFL-CIO
  • Strategic Discussion: Addressing Opioid Use Disorder via Registered Apprenticeship
  • Strategic Discussions: Exploring how Registered Apprenticeship can address the workforce development needs of the formerly incarcerated

More information about local and national events can be found at