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Apprenticeships - Background Information

The form of apprenticeship training, in which people transfer skills from one generation to another, can be dated back thousands of years. During those times, fathers taught their sons the crafts generation after generation. Today’s apprenticeships are keeping alive the knowledge of many crafts.

In 1937, the US Congress passed the National Apprenticeship Law, popularly known as the Fitzgerald Act, to promote the furtherance of labor standards of apprenticeship and to extend the application of such standards by encouraging the inclusion thereof in contracts of apprenticeship, to bring together employers and labor for the formulation of programs of apprenticeship and to cooperate with state agencies in the formulation of standards of apprenticeship.

Over the years, new and emerging industries have been created for apprenticeship training. Currently, there are over 1,000 occupations that have been certified as apprenticeships. Industries that provide apprenticeship training include: allied health, information technology, aviation, hotel/restaurant, retail, construction, childcare, security, automobile, etc. Industries providing apprenticeship training include both private and public areas of apprenticeship.

The District of Columbia was established as a State Apprenticeship Council on May 21, 1946. The District is one of 27 State Apprenticeship Councils (SAC’s) given authority by the US Department of Labor to determine eligibility for registered apprenticeship programs.

The DC Apprenticeship Council is supported by the DC Office of Apprenticeship, Information, and Training within the DC Department of Employment Services to carry out the daily functions of the apprenticeship system. Apprenticeship Office staff act as a secretariat for the Apprenticeship Council, and whose primary functions are to promote, administrate, install and monitor registered apprenticeship programs.

Through their promotion of apprenticeships, Apprenticeship Office staff educate the surrounding communities, community-based organizations and public schools educators and students on the apprenticeship training system an as viable career alternative. Staff also promote the apprenticeship training system to employers and industries as a means of expanding available apprenticeship programs and increasing employment and training opportunities for local and area residents. Apprenticeship Office staff have the knowledge and expertise to provide employers seeking apprenticeship registration with technical assistance in the development of appropriate apprenticeship standards that must be approved by the Apprenticeship Council.

Apprenticeship training programs are an extension of education and are available for out-of-school youth and adults.

Service Contact: 
Office of Apprenticeship Information and Training
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 698-5099
Contact Fax: 
(202) 673-6993
Contact TTY: 
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm