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May 03, 2021

OWD awards grants to pre-apprenticeship programs throughout Missouri

The Missouri Office of Workforce Development (OWD) recently released a list of pre-apprenticeship programs that will be receiving grants of up to $50,000 as part of the Missouri Apprentice Ready initiative.

Pre-apprenticeship is a program or set of services designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program.

Missouri Apprentice Ready, which launched in February 2021, is an initiative that invests U.S. Department of Labor funds toward the development of pre-apprenticeship opportunities, supporting pathways to Registered Apprenticeships.

Community colleges, local workforce development boards, and career and technical education programs submitted proposals to apply for the grant funding. Approximately $1 million in federal funds will be disbursed among these programs, serving roughly 350 potential pre-apprentices across 40 different occupations.   

The following applicants have been awarded grants:

  • AFLCIO Missouri Works Initiative
  • East Central College
  • Full Employment Council
  • Jefferson College
  • Northeast Missouri Workforce Development Board
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • Special School District of St. Louis County – Adult Technical Education Department – STL Training
  • St Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program
  • Workforce Development Board of Southeast Missouri


“This investment of federal funds will allow for Missourians to be better prepared to enter Registered Apprenticeships and better support employers’ needs,” said Jeanna Caldwell, manager of apprenticeship and work-based learning. “Focusing on pre-apprenticeship will help Missouri build on its already strong record of connecting skilled workers to in-demand job opportunities.”

The goal of Missouri Apprentice Ready is to create new pre-apprenticeship programs, increase the diversity of Registered Apprenticeships, and increase active apprentices in existing programs through pre-apprenticeship.

Pre-apprenticeship programs offer academic, career preparation, and wraparound supports. A pre-apprentice receives technical and career awareness skills development through industry relevant training and workplace exposure supervised by a mentor. Pre-apprenticeship providers must cultivate relationships between WIOA partners, community-based organizations, and employers in order to ensure that pre-apprentices can easily access tutoring, case management, childcare, mental health supports, transportation, and housing.

Missouri saw 3,388 Registered Apprenticeships completed in FY 2020, more than any other state except California. Missouri has more than 13,000 active apprentices participating in more than 400 programs.

Learn more about Apprenticeship Missouri at https://dhewd.mo.gov/apprenticeship_missouri.php.

About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.