The Apprenticeship Inclusion Models (AIM) initiative was a two-year project funded by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The goal of the initiative, which was led by Social Policy Research Associates (SPR), Wheelhouse Group, and Jobs for the Future (JFF), was to inform, shape, and strengthen national policy around apprenticeship, workforce development, and employment. As a result, the initiative would help to expand access to inclusive apprenticeships for people with disabilities.
AIM’s work centered on researching, developing, testing, and evaluating innovative strategies in existing apprenticeship programs that provided skills training to people with disabilities. AIM worked with four apprenticeship programs to pilot new, innovative approaches to creating inclusive apprenticeship programs.
These pilot programs received training and technical assistance from the AIM operating team. The AIM team provided training and technical assistance on topics such as procurement language, disability self-disclosure, accessible eRecruiting, the business case for inclusion, managing and mentoring apprentices with disabilities, and more. AIM also created a broader Community of Practice (CoP) to help inform its work.
At the end of the two-year project, AIM yielded key insights for employers and other organizations about how to implement and scale inclusive apprenticeship, with the pilots acting as models for how to effectively support, recruit, hire, retain, and advance the careers of people with disabilities.
Amazon, Microsoft, the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), and the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program (IMT) ran the pilot programs.
AIM developed the following Policy and Practice Resources that were informed by this work. These resources were designed to help employers and apprenticeship sponsors to foster and scale up inclusive apprenticeship programs.
- Using Universal Design for Learning in Apprenticeship
- Funding Inclusive Apprenticeships: Strategies for Braiding, Blending, and Aligning Resources
- Emerging Lessons for Inclusive Apprenticeship Programs: Managing Through the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond
- Strengthening Supports for People with Disabilities in Pre-Apprenticeships Through Policy, Design, and Practice
- Connecting Ticket to Work and Apprenticeships