News & Events

Philadelphia ECE Apprenticeship Model Offers a Solution for the Workforce

Pictured left to right: Carol Austin, First Up; Linda Smith, Bipartisan Policy Center; and Cheryl Feldman, District 1199C Training Fund take part in a panel discussion on the apprenticeship model.

The District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, led by Cheryl Feldman, hosted a conference in Philadelphia recently to highlight both the national context and practical implementation of their ECE Apprenticeship model. The Training Fund is a 44-year old, Philadelphia-based labor/management partnership, which serves as the workforce intermediary for multiple ECE Apprenticeships in Southeastern Pennsylvania, partnering with local employers, the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), Delaware County Community College (DCCC) and First Up (formerly the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children) for program implementation.

A model they began working on in 2015, the Training Fund led an 18-month planning process that included identifying partners and funding. It also provided ongoing coordination and replication support for the Philadelphia based Apprenticeship, and is currently engaged in a multi-partner, multi-county initiative to replicate the model and begin operations in suburban and rural locations in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Speakers at the conference included:

  • Mary Alice McCarthy from New America, who spoke about what a successful apprenticeship looks like and why it is a promising model for the workforce.

In an article, written in 2017 and published by The Atlantic, McCarthy discusses the model and factors that make apprenticeships a good fit for professionalizing early-education workers.

Pictured left to right: Suzann Morris, OCDEL; Mary Alice McCarthy, New America; Marica Cox Mitchell, NAEYC; and Linda Smith, The Bipartisan Policy Center

Apprenticeship is appealing for all kinds of reasons. For employers it’s a proven strategy for addressing skill shortages. For policymakers, an effective workforce-development strategy that leverages public and private investments. For the apprentices, it is an opportunity to get valuable skills and credentials without going through traditional college.”

You can read the full article: HERE

  • Marica Cox Mitchell from the National Association of Education for Young Children, who addressed workforce trends and challenges.
  • Linda Smith from the Bipartisan Policy Center who provided remarks that position the apprenticeship model in context of Early Childhood Education policy.

The second half of the conference showcased panels of (ECE) apprentices, their coaches and their employers who gave context for their participation in the program and shared how the program impacted them, their work and the children and families they serve.

You can learn more about the ECE apprenticeship model by accessing their “Toolkit”: HERE

The program also received the Pennsylvania Outstanding Apprenticeship Award in September and you can read more HERE