Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Economic Development  (WVDED) and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) are pleased to receive a U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) grant to support the state’s K-12 Teacher Registered Apprenticeship Program (T-RAP). The USDOL recently announced that West Virginia is among 45 states to receive a total of $65 million to enhance the National Apprenticeship system. The Mountain State will receive $465,113 with annual renewals available for an additional four years.

Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) are federally recognized, high-quality career pathways that offer paid, on-the-job learning that is supported by coursework. The K-12 Teacher Preparation program in West Virginia is a USDOL-recognized RAP. It removes barriers to economic opportunity and time for high school students interested in a teaching career.

West Virginia implemented the Grow Your Own Teaching Pathway in the 2022-23 school year. Seven Grow Your Own counties have committed to implementing a teacher apprenticeship program. To date, nine high school students have been hired by their counties as teacher apprentices.

“This grant not only recognizes the current work in our state to address workforce needs through student preparation, but it also identifies funding that allows us to continue to grow and build the next generation of our state’s great workforce,” said Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Economic Development Mitch Carmichael. “This will be of tremendous assistance to the WVDED team as we continue to support West Virginia’s current and future workforce needs.”

“This support will allow us to expand and sustain the work that has already begun in West Virginia,” said State Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt. “We continue to explore ways to extend opportunities to our students while also addressing workforce demands. This grant will assist these efforts and have a significant impact for years to come.”

The award provides planning funds to states, such as West Virginia, that have committed to increasing sustainability and substantially increasing the number and diversity of RAPs among in-demand industries. This allows the state to evaluate options to expand this federal distinction to other fields such as nursing, tourism and culinary industries.

Information about West Virginia’s teacher preparation program is available on the TeachWV website.

The national press release is available on the USDOL website.

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