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Connecting Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities to Registered Apprenticeship

September 30, 2020

Registered Apprenticeship (RA) can be an excellent training and career pathway for Veterans with disabilities. RA is a proven model of job preparation that combines paid on-the-job training with related instruction to progressively increase workers’ skill levels and wages. Today, there are tens of thousands of RA programs nationally in sectors such as information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, hospitality, and logistics.

As an “earn and learn model,” apprentices receive wages from day one and gain pay raises along the way as their skill levels increase. Upon completion, the average annual wage for someone completing a Registered Apprenticeship is $70,000, versus $51,000 for a college graduate, and $38,000 for someone with a high school diploma.[1] In addition, Registered Apprenticeship can be a particularly good match for Veterans due to the similarities in expectations, on-site mentorship, and a team-based work environment that mirrors military training.

To support the transition of more Veterans with service-connected disabilities into RA, the LEAD Center will pilot a new set of trainings and resources for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) counselors and employment coordinators, as well as their regional Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) colleagues. The trainings will be piloted this fall at five VR&E Regional Offices and will focus on:

  • Educating VR&E counselors and employment coordinators as well as Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program specialists (DVOPs), and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERs) on the apprenticeship model and the benefits and opportunities for Veterans and Service Members with service-connected disabilities.
  • Encouraging and facilitating partnerships between VR&E, JVSG, and regional workforce and apprenticeship partners.
  • Training for VR&E Counselors, Employment Coordinators, DVOPs, and LVERs on how to enroll VR&E participants in RA programs.

The pilot trainings will be held virtually with live trainers over an interactive webinar platform to allow for feedback and questions. At the end of the five pilot presentations, based on feedback received, a final version of the live trainings will be recorded and a companion desk reference will be developed which will include information from the recording, as well as any supporting documents that are needed. The trainings will be made available to VR&E Regional Offices nationwide.

This project is a collaboration among several federal partners including the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, Office of Disability Employment Policy, and Office of Apprenticeship, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Veteran Readiness and Employment.

For more information about Registered Apprenticeship, visit the Apprenticeship Portal at, and stay tuned for apprenticeship-related webinars for the general public this fall.

Handshake, Text: Apprenticeships

[1] U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.