NGA Center Launches Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship

In partnership with New America, the NGA Center will deliver technical assistance to the six states that were competitively selected to participate in the Policy Academy as they develop and implement policies that advance high-quality youth apprenticeship opportunities.

On August 16, 2023, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) held a convening in Washington, D.C., to launch the Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship. State teams from Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Utah were on hand to share best practices and common challenges; engage with policymakers working on youth apprenticeship at the federal level; and begin working toward achieving their project goals.

To begin the day of programming, each state gave an overview of their current youth apprenticeship policy landscape and outlined their goals for the one-year project period. Multiple states in the cohort detailed their plans to codify a definition for youth apprenticeship – a key step toward establishing strong governance for youth apprenticeship, which has no federal definition. Other states, including some that have already defined youth apprenticeship in statute, covered the work they will take on to scale existing programs and strengthen their existing governance structures.

In the afternoon, participants built on the morning’s dialogue in smaller group discussions. State teams exchanged ideas and asked questions of one another on key issues such as funding, data, and stakeholder engagement.

After substantive peer-to-peer exchanges, state teams began developing their action plan to achieve their project goals and carry out their Governor’s vision for youth apprenticeship. Throughout the duration of the Policy Academy, the six state teams will meet monthly to coordinate project activities, make technical assistance requests of NGA Center staff, and discuss progress  on key deliverables.

The day concluded with a moderated discussion between states and representatives from the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL). Deputy Assistant Secretary Luke Rhine from ED’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, and Manny Lamarre, a Senior Advisor with the Employment and Training Administration at DOL, began the conversation by outlining the Biden Administration’s priorities for youth apprenticeship. State participants then posed questions and raised concerns on key issues such as opportunities for the agencies to provide joint federal guidance, navigating employers’ concerns related to liability insurance and youth in the workplace, and which federal funding streams are best suited to support youth apprenticeship.

In addition to the Policy Academy, the NGA Center is offering states the opportunity to join a youth apprenticeship Community of Practice. States who join the Community of Practice will have access to select resources developed for the Policy Academy, participate in a bimonthly webinar series beginning in September, and join in NGA-facilitated peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

For questions about the Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship or the Community of Practice, please email Jack Porter at