Apprenticeship programs in California require the involvement of state educational agencies, local educational agencies, the California Apprenticeship Council, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, business and industry, and program sponsors. The roles of these participants are described briefly as follows:
State Educational Agencies
The California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) share the responsibility for training apprenticeship instructors and school coordinators; developing instructional materials and curricula; coordinating the program among districts; assisting state apprenticeship committees with problems of an educational nature; and giving technical assistance to schools operating apprenticeship classes. Both the CDE and CCCCO hold the major responsibility for approving all related and supplemental courses and programs for apprenticeship training before the courses and programs may be offered at local schools and colleges. California's Budget Act of 2005 contains language that requires CDE to write a report concerning the related and supplemental instruction (RSI) funding used by the CDE-linked apprenticeship programs. No such reporting requirement is made of CCCCO.
Local Educational Agencies
Local educational agencies (LEAs) are responsible for the formal educational aspects of apprenticeship programs. As LEAs, secondary schools, regional occupational centers and programs (ROCPs), adult schools, and community colleges, upon agreement with program sponsors and upon approval of the program by the appropriate state educational agency, provide the required RSI that takes place in the classroom.
The funds for apprenticeship RSI are authorized through the CDE and CCCCO. To use these funds apprenticeship programs must be certified by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards and must be affiliated with an LEA. Adult schools, ROC/Ps, and community colleges are the LEAs that contract with a program sponsor associated with the apprenticeable trade to determine the RSI delivery system for that apprenticeship program. Any adult school, ROC/P, or community college may be involved with one or a number of apprenticeship programs.
California's Shelley-Maloney Apprenticeship Labor Standards Act of 1939 generated a number of Labor Code sections for the State of California to guide apprenticeship activities. The respective apprenticeship-related roles and responsibilities of the California Apprenticeship Council, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards of the California Department of Industrial Relations, the California Department of Education, the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, and local schools and colleges are included in Labor Code sections 3070-97; California Code of Regulations , Title 8, Chapter 2; and Education Code sections 8150-8156.
California Apprenticeship Council
The California Apprenticeship Council was established under the authority of the Shelley-Maloney Apprenticeship Labor Standards Act of 1939. Of the Council's 17 members, 14 are Governor appointees, six of whom represent management, six of whom represent labor, and two of whom represent the public. The remaining three members are the Superintendent of Public Instruction or his or her designee, the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges or his or her designee, and the Director of the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) or his or her designee. The Director of DIR is the ex officio Administrator of Apprenticeship.
The California Apprenticeship Council is required by the Labor Code to adopt and issue regulations as necessary to carry out the intent of the law. These regulations are published in the California Code of Regulations . The California Apprenticeship Council's overall mandate is to assist the Administrator of Apprenticeship in forming policies that implement apprenticeship laws effectively.
Division of Apprenticeship Standards
The Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) of DIR is the staff arm of the Administrator of Apprenticeship. The apprenticeship consultants at DAS work with employers and employee organizations to (1) establish and approve all new occupational apprenticeship training programs; (2) keep program sponsors abreast of new administrative and legal requirements; and (3) help apprenticeship programs solve problems. The consultants enforce the Labor Code and California Code of Regulations sections that relate to apprenticeships. Other DAS functions include assisting the Administrator of Apprenticeship with appeals, investigations, hearings, and the resolution of complaints brought by apprentices or applicants; and, upon receiving evidence from program sponsors that both the work site training and the classroom training have been completed, issuing certificates of completion to those who have completed their registered apprenticeship programs.
Business and Industry
In their major role in program sponsorship, business and industry help develop the apprenticeship program standards. Program standards contain procedures for the fair and equal selection, employment, and training of apprentices. The standards also address such work site conditions as a graduated wage schedule to be paid during the term of apprenticeship, the availability of facilities and equipment, the presence of skilled workers to serve as trainers, schedules of work processes through which the apprentice is rotated for training, and adequate supervision of all work processes in the training of the apprentice. Business and industry (i.e., employers) also hold a responsibility to ensure that industry standards are integrated into RSI content. Employers monitor and update this curriculum/workplace linkage, identify changes necessary to keep the program current, and provide information on growth and projections of training needs in the industry.
An apprenticeship program sponsor is described in the California Code of Regulations as a joint apprenticeship committee, a unilateral labor or management committee, or an individual employer. In developing program standards the joint apprenticeship committees work with the employers and employees on many issues, including the establishment of working conditions for apprentices, the number of apprentices to be employed in the trade under the apprenticeship agreement, and the establishment of selection procedures. All apprenticeship agreements prepared by sponsors must obtain DAS approval. The sponsor selects apprentices according to procedures set forth in the written standards, enters into an apprentice agreement that registers the apprentice with DAS, oversees the apprentice's on-the-job training and attendance at related classes, periodically reviews the apprentice's progress before recommending advancement to the next pay level, and recommends the awarding of a certificate of completion when the apprentice has completed the entire program.
Upon completion of the apprenticeship program and certification of such by the program sponsor, the apprentice is awarded a Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship by DAS. The certificate signifies that the holder has been thoroughly trained in all aspects of the occupation and has met all program requirements, including having demonstrated to the satisfaction of the sponsor a mastery of the skills and possession of the knowledge required in that occupation. The sponsor will attest to the RSI requirement having been met after consulting the appropriate school authorities regarding the completion of educational requirements and attainment of curriculum standards in related and supplemental subjects. The certificate is recognized by business and industry as a valid indicator that the holder has received high-quality, standardized, and consistent training and is prepared to serve at the journeyman level.
John Dunn, Program Coordinator
Policy Alignment and Outreach Unit
Division of Workforce and Economic Development
California Community College Chancellor's Office