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Youth Apprenticeship Programs Under California’s Labor Code

The Youth Apprenticeship Grant Program is administered by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards

By Chris Micheli, May 28, 2023 2:30 am

California’s Labor Code provides for youth apprenticeship programs in California, pursuant to Division 3, Chapter 4, Article 6. Labor Code Section 3120 requires youth apprenticeship to be a key priority for the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS). Youth apprenticeship is supposed to complement the state’s existing registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.

In addition, there are five specified goals and objectives of the DAS in expanding youth apprenticeships, such as creating a framework for youth apprenticeship, increasing the number of programs targeting youth, and coordinating with existing programs.

Section 3121 requires the Chief of the DAS to convene a committee to develop recommendations to the DAS on the expansion of youth apprenticeships in California. The committee must include representatives from youth, youth serving organizations, labor, employers of youth, K–12 schools, community colleges, and the public workforce system.

In addition, in developing these recommendations, the committee is required to specifically address certain enumerated topics, such as clear definitions, guiding principles, and insights on the structure of the state’s work. This report and recommendations are required by July 1, 2024.

Section 3122 established the Youth Apprenticeship Grant Program, to be administered by the DAS, for the purpose of awarding grant funds to eligible applicants to provide funding for existing apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. The grant program does not apply to building and construction trades programs that are within the jurisdiction of the council that was also established.

Under the grant program, services are required to be delivered principally through collaborative, mission-driven, community-based organizations with experience in providing services to, and for relevant relationships with, targeted populations, consistent with the objectives of the grant program.

The DAS is required to consult with and seek feedback from state agencies during the planning process to ensure grant funds awarded under the program leverage and complement existing grant programs. The DAS also has to solicit proposals and select grant recipients from eligible applicant, and it must require that grant recipients demonstrate a commitment to high road principles. The term “target population” is defined.

Section 3122.1 authorizes grant funds to be used for eligible purposes that include certain items. Section 3122.2 requires the grant proposal to include specified information. Section 3122.3 requires the Youth Apprenticeship Grant Program to have an explicit focus on equity and aims to ensure that race, income, geography, gender, citizenship status, ability, and other demographics and student characteristics no longer predict the outcomes of California’s youth.

Section 3122.4 requires the DIR to monitor and audit grant recipients to ensure compliance with policies, procedures, and requirements for use of the grant funds. Grant recipients must provide necessary data to the DIR for purposes of evaluating achievement of the goals and objectives of the grant program.

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