Record High Numbers In Wisconsin’s Apprenticeship Program

Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), celebrated “National Apprenticeship Week” by announcing that Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship Program has reached a record 16,384 enrolled apprentices, an all-time record in the program’s 112-year history and surpassing last year’s record-high participation

“For over a century, Wisconsin has been a national leader in apprenticeship, which will continue to play a critical role in addressing our state’s generational workforce challenges and building a 21st-century workforce for a 21st-century economy,” said Gov. Evers. “Today, apprenticeships are more popular than ever for workers seeking a pathway into high-demand, family-supporting careers and employers seeking highly skilled talent. It’s exceedingly important that we invest in apprenticeships and getting folks the skills and training they need to participate in our workforce while continuing to be a model of innovation and flexibility to meet evolving workforce needs.”

Wisconsin Apprenticeship pairs job training with classroom instruction. It is the first state in the nation with a registered apprenticeship program. Wisconsin requires employers to pay their apprentices for both time worked and time spent in required classroom instruction. This recognizes the importance of a dual training system that combines skills obtained on the job site with technical knowledge in the classroom. 

“Even as we are thrilled to see Wisconsin Apprenticeship’s participation reach an all-time high, we remain laser-focused on the program’s continued growth and success in the modern economy,” said DWD Secretary Amy Pechacek. “To this end, the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Council and other partners will remain critical to ensure the program meets employers’ needs and continues to power the state’s economic momentum.”  

Wisconsin has more than 200 apprenticeship occupations with over 2,600 employers. “It’s clear that apprenticeship continues to be more important than ever,” said David Polk, director of DWD’s Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. “We reached this new historic milestone by building partnerships, working across the state to provide technical assistance and resources.”

The state’s record high numbers further cement apprenticeship as a proven solution to meet employers’ needs for skilled workers in traditional and emerging industries.