Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.



Bowser Administration Kicks Off DC Youth Apprenticeship Week with Michelle Obama-Inspired Signing Day 

Monday, May 2, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration and District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) announced the start of 2022 DC Youth Apprenticeship Awareness Week. The week of events will begin with Apprenticeship Signing Day, on Monday, May 2 at 1:00 p.m. Signing Day introduces District youth to available apprenticeship opportunities and encourages employers to offer the prospective apprentices signed letters of intent to hire.
“Apprenticeships play a vital role in creating a qualified and highly-skilled workforce for diverse, high demand industries. District youth can thrive when apprenticeship programs empower them to become employed as skilled workers pursuing fulfilling work in their chosen fields,” said DOES Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes.  “The Bowser Administration has expanded the apprenticeship model in Washington, DC, and Apprenticeship Signing Day marks the beginning for so many youths. We are proud to introduce them to high-quality job training for the good-paying careers of the future.”
The Apprenticeship Signing Day event will showcase testimonials from youth apprentices, apprenticeship sponsors, and representatives across District government. Modeled after Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and College Signing Day, District Government uses the same fundamentals to reach young Washingtonians with Apprenticeship Signing Day.
Since 2014, cities across the nation have hosted events to advocate for the importance of post-secondary education and apprenticeship opportunities. Reach Higher exposes students to college and career opportunities; helps them understand financial aid eligibility that can make college affordability a reality; encourages academic planning, summer learning opportunities, and supports high school counselors who can help more kids get into college.
Selected high school seniors from E.L Haynes Public Charter School, IDEA Public Charter School, Cesar Chavez Public High School, and Luke C. Moore High School will sign letters of intent with Colonial Electric, Helix Electric, Independent Electrical Contractors – Chesapeake Chapter, M.C. Dean, and Power Design.
The Office of Apprenticeship, Information, and Training (OAIT) at DOES provides oversight of the apprenticeship system in the District of Columbia. OAIT safeguards the well-being of apprentices, ensures the quality of programs, and provides integrated employment and training information to sponsors, employers, and trainers.
OAIT will host a series of events during DC Youth Apprenticeship Week, from Monday, May 2 –Friday, May 6. Apprentices and families are invited to attend a virtual information session on Wednesday, May 4, for the Parent and Community Corner.  Parents can converse with apprenticeship sponsors and DOES staff to better understand the application process, the industries, and the benefits of youth apprenticeship in the District.
The week will conclude on Friday, May 6 with a virtual tour of the Youth Apprenticeship schools and sponsors.  This year’s apprentices will hear from previous apprentices, current instructors, and sponsors to have a comprehensive overview of the program's benefits and opportunities.
As part of the District’s investment into strengthening local youth apprenticeship programs through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, DOES is seeking high quality, structured and innovative grant applications from registered apprenticeship programs or new organizations to develop, implement and/or expand existing or new youth apprenticeship programs for 80 District out-of-school youth, ages 18 to 24. The District of Columbia’s Out-of-School (OSY) Program is supported by the U.S. Department of Labor as part of awards totaling $11,678,763.  Those interested in applying for a grant can learn more here: 2022 OSY Youth Apprenticeship Program RFA.  The application deadline is Thursday, May19 at 3:00 p.m.
The Department of Employment Services (DOES) is the District’s lead labor, workforce development agency, and is responsible for providing District residents with critical employment readiness and job training services. To learn more about apprenticeships, programs and services offered at DOES, and for more information on becoming an apprenticeship sponsor, visit or