COLUMBUS – During National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 15-21, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Matt Damschroder are spreading the word about the many benefits of ApprenticeOhio programs as a pathway to a new career.

“Ohio ranks first in the Midwest and third in the nation for the number of individuals enrolled in ApprenticeOhio programs,” said Governor DeWine. “Apprentices earn while they learn, they avoid student loan debt, and when they complete their programs, they can earn on average $60,000 a year.”

More than 19,500 Ohioans are enrolled in ApprenticeOhio programs. The state has apprenticeships opportunities in 180 occupations, from health care to advanced manufacturing, from energy to computer programming. Apprentices complete at least 2,000 hours of structured on-the-job training and 144 hours of classroom training, typically at a local college or university. They also earn wages while they work under the supervision of a mentor. When they complete their programs, they receive a nationally recognized credential.

“An apprenticeship is an earn and learn pathway to a rewarding career without the burden of college debt,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “For employers, apprentices provide a ready pipeline of talent, who develop skills that meet industry and organization standards that help their business and America compete in the global economy.”

Ohio also has more than 100 pre-apprenticeship programs, which allow participants to learn the basic foundational skills necessary to be successful in an apprenticeship program. Ohio has been expanding its number of pre-apprenticeship programs, after receiving a three-year $9.4 million federal grant. ODJFS applied for and received a “Building State Capacity to Expand Apprenticeship through Innovation” grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2020. The grant is being used to fund system improvements, incentives to help employers pay for the costs of training and tools, and pre-apprenticeship opportunities to better serve underrepresented populations, including minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with criminal records.

“We encourage all Ohioans interested in launching new careers, and any employers interested in growing their businesses, to explore apprenticeship opportunities,” Director Damschroder said. “You can learn more at Apprentice.Ohio.gov or your nearest OhioMeansJobs center. If your area does not have a program that interests you, you can find a potential employer who may be interested in starting a program and ask the employer to email apprenticeship@jfs.ohio.gov.”

For more information, visit Apprentice.Ohio.gov.