The LAUNCH Apprenticeship Network was originally formed in 2018 by the Inland Empire Desert Region College Consortium and leverages the workforce and education systems of the region’s community colleges, K-12 districts, and two Workforce Development Boards. By integrating apprenticeship into these organizations and institutions, LAUNCH acts as an intermediary and education provider for businesses adopting the apprenticeship model. In addition, LAUNCH provides regional resources for developing programs and increasing pathways into apprenticeship both in traditional apprenticeships and new and innovative programs. Essentially, LAUNCH makes apprenticeship easy and effective for Inland Empire businesses and career-builders.
The skills and aptitudes required for success in the modern workplace are constantly changing. Historically used to develop professionals in the skilled trades, apprenticeship is now a valuable workforce development tool in a wide variety of occupations. Over the past 50 years, the type of industries incorporating apprenticeship programs to develop and grow their workforce has changed drastically.
As apprenticeships continue to evolve, the basic concept remains the same. People new to an industry work alongside experienced veterans to leverage the institutional knowledge of current employees with theoretical learning from the classroom. Modern apprenticeship programs now play an integral role in industries such as manufacturing, information technology, tourism, health care, transportation and logistics and energy.
A registered apprenticeship program is a job-related education program and professional development pathway. LAUNCH apprenticeships are designed to develop highly skilled workers capable of meeting the demands of the modern workplace to remain competitive in the new global economy. By combining supervised on-the-job training – provided by a participating business – with related technical instruction – provided by one of the LAUNCH partner community colleges – LAUNCH apprenticeships reinforce theories underlying those skills learned in the workplace and accelerate professional development.
These registered apprenticeship programs are designed to create a path for employees to progress from basic skills knowledge to a level demanded for a successful career in the given occupation.
The programs vary in time from one to six years, depending on the length of time customary and necessary to achieve the skill set demanded by the chosen profession and the employer’s individual needs.
Employers determine the specific content of these training programs within specific guidelines.
These businesses also retain discretion to start new participants who demonstrate relevant skills and knowledge at an advanced level within the apprenticeship program.
Apprenticeship programs include a progressive wage scale for participants that includes incremental increases through participation. These wage increases can be based upon successful demonstration of acquired skills and competencies as they progress through the program or at predetermined intervals over the course of the apprenticeship. This approach benefits participants by providing clear incentives for professional growth while encouraging completion of the program. It also allows business partners to establish recruit new employees under “training rates” for employees as they develop new skills. Wage progressions are determined by each employer rather than any state or government agency, provided the position meets all minimum wage requirements.