Apprenticeship Forward, May 4th-5th, 2017

Conference program now available!

Apprenticeship Forward is a national conference that will help chart a path toward a future where millions more American workers and businesses reap the benefits of a high performing apprenticeship system built through the collaboration of the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. 

Date: May 4th-5th, 2017

Location: Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

Sponsoring Partners:  National Skills Coalition, New AmericaAFL-CIO Working for America InstituteAdvance CTE, Jobs for the FutureNational Association of Workforce BoardsNational Fund for Workforce SolutionsNational Governors Association, and Urban Institute (list in formation). 

With the support of Annie E. Casey FoundationJoyce FoundationThe JPB FoundationJP Morgan Chase & Co., and Siemens Foundation

In consultation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career Technical and Adult Education

Hotel rooms will be available through the conference block at the Washington Hilton for $289/ night. Please call the hotel directly at 202.483.3000 or connect via our customized registration link to make your room reservation. Please identify yourself as an Apprenticeship Forward attendee. To guarantee the special group rate of $289.00 per night plus applicable taxes, you must make your reservation no later than April 12, 2017

Conference Description 

Apprenticeship Forward will bring together hundreds of leaders from the apprenticeship community, including industry associations and employers; unions and labor-management partnerships; community-based organizations; community colleges; high schools; and workforce boards– as well as federal and state policymakers from throughout the country. It will focus on three critical challenges facing the expansion of apprenticeship in the U.S.: increasing industry engagement across a range of sectors and firms; addressing equity issues while diversifying the apprenticeship pipeline; and implementing new public policies that can support industry’s taking apprenticeship to scale.

Apprenticeship Forward will feature engaging plenaries and dozens of focused breakout sessions. Conference participants will spend time talking to and learning from each other in working group discussions. Industry and training experts from across a wide range of sectors will facilitate these interactive sessions. They will be an opportunity for conference-goers to share successes and challenges in expanding or diversifying apprenticeship in specific industries and within different student or worker populations. 


Full session descriptions can be found here.

Thursday, May 4                                                                                                      

7:30 – 8:30  
Columbia Ballroom 

8:30 – 10:00 
Opening Plenary: The Changing State of Apprenticeship in a Changing U.S. Economy
Columbia Ballroom

Welcome and Introductions:  Andy Van Kleunen, National Skills Coalition; Sarah Steinberg, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Noel Ginsburg, Intertech Plastics and CareerWise Colorado

Industry Leaders Panel

    • Dr. Tom Kriger, North America’s Building Trades Unions
    • Deb Linder, Precor
    • Stacey Rose, Kroger
    • Mark Wagner, Hartford Insurance
    • Moderator: Fred Dedrick, National Fund for Workforce Solutions

10:15  – 12:00 
Industry Discussion Groups

Columbia 10 

    • Lead Discussants:  Art Lujan, North America’s Building Trade Unions; Grant Shmelzer, IEC Chesapeake
    • Facilitator:  Dan Marschall, AFL-CIO Working for America Institute 

Information Technology
Columbia 3/4

    • Lead Discussants:  Jennifer Carlson, Washington Technology Industry Association; Tammy Theiman, Amazon
    • Facilitator:  Brent Parton, New America 

Finance / Business Services

    • Lead Discussants:  Dr. Rebecca Lake, Harper College; Al Crook, Zurich Financial
    • Facilitator: Laura Ginsburg, U.S. Department of Labor

Hospitality & Retail
Columbia 9

    • Lead Discussants: Marie Downey, BEST Corp. Hotel Training Center; Charnetia Young, CVS; Daniel Blumenstock, Lowcountry Hotels
    • Facilitator: Kathy Mannes, Jobs for the Future 

Columbia 1/2 

    • Lead Discussants:  Deb Green, American Health Information Management Association; Daniel Bustillo, Healthcare Advancement Program
    • Facilitator: Kelly Aiken, National Fund for Workforce Solutions 

Columbia 11/12

    • Lead Discussants: Curt Jasper, E.J. Ajax, Metalforming Solutions; Mason Bishop, National Institute for Metalworking Skills; Brad Markell, AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council
    • Facilitator: Geri Scott, Jobs for the Future

Transportation / Logistics

    • Lead Discussants:  Bill McLennan, FASTPORT, Inc.; Jack Clark, Transportation Learning Center
    • Facilitator: Ed Gilman, National Skills Coalition

12:15 – 2:00 Lunch Plenary
Who Are Our Future Apprentices?
Columbia Ballroom 

Introductions: Mary Alice McCarthy, New America 

Keynote: Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) (invited); Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) (invited)

Apprentices Panel
    • Sylvia Rocha, Plumbers and Gasfitters UA Local 12
    • Grace Rutha, Philadelphia FIGHT 
    • Ed Richardson, Aon Corporation 
    • Moderator: Allison Gerber, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Practitioners Panel
    • Bridget Gainer, Aon Corporation
    • Edison Freire, JEVS Human Services
    • Ariane Hegewisch, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
    • Moderator: Angela Hanks, Center for American Progress

2:15 – 3:45
Diversity/Population Discussion Groups

In-School Youth (High School)
Columbia 1/2

    • Lead Discussants: Karen Morgan, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; Jim Nelson, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association; Pam Howze, North Carolina Department of Commerce
    • Facilitator: Brent Parton, New America

Postsecondary Young Adults (College)

    • Lead Discussants: Annette Parker, South Central College; Bridget, Aon Corporation; Rojer Collins, Siemens Corporation
    • Facilitator: Mary Alice McCarthy, New America

Out-of-School Youth

    • Lead Discussants: Paul Ortega, Swiss Post Solutions; Brian McMahon, Operation Fresh Start
    • Facilitator: Abby Snay, JVS San Francisco

Low-Income Adults (limited basic skills, immigrants,
Columbia 11/12

    • Lead Discussants: John Kerr, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges; Kasra Movahedi, International Rescue Committee
    • Facilitator: Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, National Skills Coalition

Women (in industries in which they are underrepresented)
Columbia 3/4

    • Lead Discussants:  Lauren Sugerman, Chicago Women in Trades; James Boland, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
    • Facilitator: Katie Spiker, National Skills Coalition

People of Color (in industries in which they are underrepresented)
Columbia 9 

    • Lead Discussants:  Rhandi Berth, WRTP/Big Step; Tim Hake, Hayes Performance Systems; Maurita Coley, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council; Ron Johnson, Wireless Infrastructure Association
    • Facilitator: Deborah Kobes, Jobs for the Future

Columbia 10

    • Lead Discussants: Tom Dawkins, Microsoft; Darrel Roberts, Helmets to Hardhats; Megan Curren, Werner Enterprises; Patrick O’Leary, UPS
    • Facilitator: Tim Green, Department of Labor Office of Assistant Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training

4:00 – 5:15 Concurrent Panel Presentations

Role of New Intermediaries in Engaging Employers (US; International) 
Columbia 3/4

    • Tom Bewick, Franklin Apprenticeships and Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum
    • Bill Rayl, Jackson Area Manufacturing Association
    • Cheryl Feldman, 1199c Training and Upgrading Fund
    • Moderator: Kermit Kaleba, National Skills Coalition

Competency Based Apprenticeship—Recent Efforts with Industry to Develop New Standards

    • Diane Jones, Urban Institute

Pre-apprenticeship to Work-Based Support—Helping New Apprentices Get To and Past the Day of Hire 
Columbia 1 

    • Mark Kessenich, WRTP/Big Step
    • Julie Kuklinski, Mississippi Women in Construction – Moore Community House
    • Kevin Ly, National Urban League
    • Moderator: Katie Spiker, NSC

Truly Connecting School and Work: Systems Approaches for Embedding Apprenticeship within Higher Education Pathways
Columbia 2

    • Sue Smith, Ivy Tech Community College
    • Ryan Craig, University Ventures
    • Nick Esquivel, California Community Colleges
    • Moderator: Iris Palmer, New America

High School-Based Apprenticeships: New Models
Columbia 11/12 

    • Jo Ann Honeycutt, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction 
    • John Page, Tacoma Public Schools
    • Mitchell Harp, Trident Technical College
    • Lynne M. Gilli, Maryland Department of Education 
    • Moderator: Kate Kreamer, Advance CTE

On the Frontier of Apprenticeship within Emerging Industries

    • Chase Norlin, Transmosis
    • Annie Tahtinen, Bay Area Video Coalition
    • Cindy Hart, Kaiser Permanente 
    • Moderator: Brent Parton, New America

Diversity and New EEO Regulations: Adjusting to the goals and impacts of 29 CFR 30
Columbia 9 

    • Andrew Cortés, Building Futures
    • John Gaal, Carpenters’ District Council of Greater St. Louis 
    • Leah Rambo, Sheet Metal Worker’s International Association, Local 28
    • Moderator: Susan Crane, SkillUp Washington

Work-Based Learning vs. Formal Apprenticeship: Differences, overlaps, and potential alignment
Columbia 10

    • James Redstone, Majority Staff, House Committee on Education and the Workforce
    • Michael Bennett, Cianbro Corporation
    • Moderator: Tamar Jacoby, Opportunity America


Networking Reception
Heights Courtyard 


Friday, May 5

7:30 – 8:30 Breakfast
Columbia Ballroom

8:30 – 10:00
Morning Plenary: State Policymakers at the Forefront of U.S. Apprenticeship
Columbia Ballroom

Introductions: Crystal Bridgeman, Siemens Foundation
Moderated by: David Etzwiler, Siemens Foundation 
Keynote: Governor Malloy (D-CT) 

State Policymaker Panel

  • Delegate Cory McCray, Maryland General Assembly
  • Myron Linn, Iowa Workforce Development 
  • Carla Whitlock, Apprenticeship Carolina
  • Ellen Golombek, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
  • Moderator: Martin Simon, National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices


10:15 – 11:45
Concurrent Panel Presentations

Survey of State Apprenticeship / Work-Based Learning Policies
Columbia 3/4 

    • Laura Arnold, Kentucky Division of Career and Technical Education
    • Meghan Wills, National Governor’s Association
    • Joel Thomas, New Jersey Department of Labor
    • Moderator: Bryan Wilson, National Skills Coalition

Employer Incentive Policies—Tax Credits, Subsidies, and Other Supports to Recruit New Companies to Apprenticeship
Columbia 11/12

    • Pam Lendzion, American Boat Builders & Repairers Association
    • Dane Linn, Business Roundtable
    • Moderator: Kermit Kaleba, National Skills Coalition

Registration of Apprenticeships: The Debate, and Efforts to Make it Easier
Columbia 9 

    • John Ladd, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship
    • Carla Whitlock, Apprenticeship Carolina
    • Scott Kisting, Proactive Telecommunications Solutions and Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program
    • Moderator: Brent Parton, New America

Measuring Apprenticeship Outcomes—Using Public Data to Assess Impacts and Quality

    • Greg Wilson, US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship
    • Pradeep Kotamraju, Bureau of Career and Technical Education, Iowa Department of Education
    • Valerie Piet, Montana Department of Labor & Industry
    • Moderator: Jenna Leventoff, Workforce Data Quality Campaign

WIOA and Apprenticeship—How is it Working so Far?
Columbia 10

    • Thomas Showalter, National Youth Employment Coalition
    • Earl Buford, Milwaukee Workforce Investment Board
    • Moderator: Ron Painter, National Association of Workforce Boards

The Role of Public Policy: How Can Federal Education, Workforce, and Economic Development Policy Better Support Apprenticeship? 
Jefferson West

    • Scott Cheney, Credential Engine
    • Eric Seleznow, Jobs for the Future
    • Kathleen Mathers, Education Strategy Group
    • Moderator: Mary Alice McCarthy, New America

International Models—What Countries are Learning from Each Other in Apprenticeship Expansion
Columbia 1/2

    • Viktoria Kis, Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development
    • Simon Marti, Embassy of Switzerland 
    • Nick Wyman, Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation & the Skilling Australia Foundation
    • Moderator: Bob Lerman, Urban Institute

12:00 – 1:15
Lunch Plenary: The Future of Apprenticeship under the Trump Administration
Columbia Ballroom

Introductions:  Andy Van Kleunen, National Skills Coalition; Mary Alice McCarthy, New America

    • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (invited) 

Concluding Remarks:  Bob Lerman, Urban Institute 

1:30 – 2:30
Discussions with Federal Agencies

U.S. Departments of Labor and Education: Engaging Workers and Business in Apprenticeship
International Ballroom East 

    • John Ladd, Office of Apprenticeship
    • Kim Ford, Office of Career and Technical and Adult Education 
    • Sharon Miller, Office of Career and Technical and Adult Education
    • Byron Zuidema, Employment and Training Administration
    • Moderators:  Katie Spiker, National Skills Coalition; Brent Parton, New America

U.S Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture: Apprenticeship Supports for Low-Income people under TANF, SNAP E&T

    • Rachel Gragg, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
    • Deborah List, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
    • Moderator: Kermit Kaleba, National Skills Coalition 

        U.S. Department of Commerce: Business Perspective on Importance of Apprenticeship
        Jefferson East

    • Mary Ann Pacelli, Manufacturing Extension Partnership
    • Rodney Petersen, National Institute of Standards and Technology
    • Moderator: Eric Seleznos, Jobs for the Future; Dave Langdon, Department of Commerce


U.S. Department of Transportation: Apprenticeship within Trump Administration’s New Infrastructure Proposal
Jefferson West  

    • Marilyn Shazor, Department of Transportation
    • Virginia Tsu, Federal Highway Administration
    • Moderator: Ed Gilman, National Skills Coalition


Working Group Discussions

Apprenticeship Forward will build understanding of the current state of American Apprenticeship both through (1) plenary and panel presentations by national and local experts and (2) working group discussions between attendees themselves, in which diverse groups of practitioners, employers and policymakers share and learn from each other’s efforts to expand and diversify apprenticeship within specific industries and on behalf of specific student and worker populations.

When registering, attendees will identify their first and second preferences for the working group discussions in which they would like to participate. Expertise is not required to participate in a group. Those new to that area will have the opportunity to hear from other leaders in the field as they share both successes and challenges.

Discussion groups will be co-lead by content leaders both from the employer and the trainer perspectives. 

Industry Discussion Groups:

  • Construction
  • Information Technology / Cybersecurity
  • Finance / Business Services
  • Retail
  • Hospitality (hotel, restaurant)
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation / Logistics

Other industries being considered, based on attendee preferences: Marine manufacturing / technology; childcare

Population Discussion Groups:

  • In-school youth (high school)
  • In-school youth (college)
  • Out-of-school youth
  • Low-income adults (limited basic skills, immigrants,
  • Women (particularly in building trades, IT, manufacturing)
  • People of color (particularly in building trades, IT, manufacturing)

Other populations being considered, based on attendee preferences: Veterans

For Additional Information

For questions regarding registration and logistics, please contact Jessica Cardott

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