Hospitality Apprenticeship Offers Bostonian a Path to Success




Hadia Diallo of South Boston enrolled at Quincy Junior College after high school. To afford tuition, she worked – as a teacher’s assistant at a local after-school program, a visitor’s experience associate at the Boston Children’s Museum, and a security officer – which meant that she could not attend school full time.

“After balancing school and work for so many years, I was stuck on what to do next,” said Hadia, now 25. “I knew that I wanted to go back to school and become successful, but I needed something to help me get back on track.”

As a housekeeping apprentice, Hadia is on her way to her dream job.
       As a housekeeping apprentice,
       Hadia is on her way to her dream job.

Hadia’s husband had graduated from the BEST Hospitality Training Center’s pre-apprenticeship program in 2015, and by December 2017 he had advanced to a supervisor position at a luxury hotel in Boston.

After seeing her husband’s success, Hadia decided to try it for herself.

She applied and was accepted into the 6-week housekeeping pre-apprenticeship. As part of her training, she shadowed employees at two luxury hotels in Boston. Upon completion of the program, she was hired by a waterfront hotel as a housekeeping apprentice based on her excellent performance.

The paid apprenticeship includes 2,000-hours of on-the-job training coupled with formal instruction, and the opportunity to earn up to 12 credits at Bunker Hill Community College. Apprentices like Hadia can take additional courses in the college’s Hotel/Restaurant Management program at a substantially reduced rate through an agreement with BEST.

“I was looking for a career path and a great job where I can continue to learn,” said Hadia. “This program helped me to get a job at one of the best hotels in the city, the skills to be successful ‒ and I like interacting with guests.”

Today Hadia is learning the housekeeping and customer service skills she needs to pursue her dreams, which include a good-paying job, a college degree, and career advancement. Ultimately, she hopes to become a supervisor.

“This program has been life-changing,” said Hadia. “I’ve been learning new skills and making connections that have put me on a path to a career.”

James Lally is a deputy director in the Department’s Office of Public Affairs in Boston.


U.S. Department of Labor Blog

Generations of Apprenticeship Power Career Success




Electrical apprenticeships have launched careers for three generations of this Georgia family.

Following in the footsteps of her electrician father, Betsy Ritch-Reed put on a hard hat and tool belt, and began an apprenticeship with the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) in the early 1980s.

As part of her on-the-job training, she assisted with specialized projects for the military in a pre-fabrication shop at Fort Benning, Georgia. After completing the Independent Electrical Contractors apprenticeship program, she worked as a licensed electrician for 11 years. In 1996, she took over her father’s business, Ritch Electric Co. Inc., in Columbus, Georgia. Today she oversees more than two dozen employees.

Betsy Ritch-Reed
      Betsy Ritch-Reed

Betsy has helped train the next generation of electricians as an instructor at Columbus Technical College and as a substitute instructor for the IEC apprenticeship program. She continues to hire and train electrical apprentices for her own business, as well.

Her advice to the next generation: Stick to your goals. “Whatever career you choose, do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do it,” said Betsy. “If you believe you can do it, you can.”

Her 22-year-old grandson, Blaine Reed, has followed in the family footsteps and has nearly finished the four-year IEC apprenticeship. The program involves paid on-the-job training under the supervision of an IEC contractor, as well as 576 hours of classroom instruction learning about topics such as residential wiring, electrical theory, how to interpret the National Electric Code, and grounding and electrical design. Upon completion, graduates are certified as an electrician by the IEC and can apply their trade throughout the country.

Betsy’s success has been a model for Blaine, who has seen how the electrical trade can provide a fulfilling career and a good living.

“Societies need great electricians to build a connected and lighted world,” said Blaine, who likes working with robots. Like his grandmother, he is taking on-the-job training at Fort Benning. One day he also would like to own his own business – one that focuses on programmable logic controllers, which are specialized computers used to control robots and other kinds of electromechanical systems or processes.

The outlook for electricians is bright, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which projects the occupation will grow 9 percent between 2016 and 2026. The IEC estimates there is a shortage of nearly 100,000 electrical workers across the country. Learn more about how to become an electrician via the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Eric R. Lucero is a deputy director in the department’s Office of Public Affairs in Atlanta, Georgia.


U.S. Department of Labor Blog

Electrical Apprenticeship Leads to Promising Career



Josiah at work
Josiah is embarking on a new career after enrolling in an electrical apprenticeship program.


After taking college courses for two years and holding several jobs with limited opportunities for growth, Josiah Thorngate of Middletown, Connecticut, applied to an electrical apprenticeship program that a friend had recommended. At 31, Josiah is now embarking on a new career and has big plans for his family’s future.

Josiah and his daughter

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians earn above the national median at $ 52,720 per year (slightly more in Connecticut), and the occupation is expected to grow 9 percent between 2016 and 2026. The wages and long-term security offered by this field appealed to Josiah, who wanted his next job to do more than just pay the bills.

As part of the four-year apprenticeship through the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) of New England, Josiah started working for Electrical Energy Systems Corp. in Southington. Josiah quickly earned a reputation among his peers for his skills. He enjoyed tackling complex tasks and troubleshooting problems, and felt a sense of pride in seeing the well-planned final product.

After he graduated as valedictorian of his apprenticeship class in 2017, Josiah received his electrician’s license and has continued working for the company as a journeyman.

“I’m very blessed with the timing of coming into the trade, and the company I work for has been great,” said Josiah, who is married with a 4-year-old daughter. “The wages easily provide a livable income and there are opportunities for growth … and the ability to put money away for retirement is absolutely there.”

IEC New England apprentices learn on the job, receive formal classroom instruction, and may be awarded up to 40 college credits that can be applied toward a four-year degree. Last October, Josiah was chosen to represent his IEC chapter at the IEC National Apprentice of the Year Wire-Off Competition, where top apprentices from around the country demonstrate their skills.

Today he’s looking forward to a brighter future, confident in the knowledge that he is now equipped with the skills for an in-demand career.

“The program gave me a great direction in life and I’m working toward a sustainable future for myself and my family,” said Josiah. “There is always a need for electricians.”

James Lally is a public affairs specialist for the Labor Department in Boston.







U.S. Department of Labor Blog

Apprenticeship Opens Door to Nontraditional Career



Regina McClean instructs Newport News Shipbuilding apprentices
Regina McClean instructs apprentices at Newport News Shipbuilding

Regina McLean of Hampton, Virginia, has never been one to stand down from a challenge, including a bold move into a nontraditional career opportunity. 

At 32, Regina had been working at a child care center in Newport News. While out shopping one afternoon, she came across Newport News Shipbuilding. Curious to learn more about the company, Regina stopped in.

She learned that the company was seeking job candidates for work building aircraft carriers and submarines. Although she had no prior experience in manufacturing, she was intrigued by the opportunity and filled out an application.

Regina was hired as a machinist two weeks later, and received training on how to weld and run blades and saws. Her supervisors saw her potential and encouraged her to pursue the company’s machinist apprenticeship program after a few months on the job.

Regina McClean in her office at Newport News Shipbuilding

Eager to learn more, she took their advice and was accepted into the four-year program in 2002. She spent two days in the classroom and three days in the field per week, and was paid for all of her time.

Her skills and motivation stood out: Regina was selected to work with an experienced foreman at a company outside of the shipbuilding school, while most other apprentices worked directly under the supervision of a school craft instructor.

“I worked for supervisors with a lot of experience who made sure I learned everything about the job and fully understood what I was doing,” Regina said, “They allowed me to gain supervisory experience, and learn about relevant regulations and processes.”

When Regina graduated in 2006, she received the Niels Christiansen Award for her excellent work and having the highest grade in her trade.

Regina later became a craft instructor at Newport News Shipbuilding’s apprenticeship school, teaching students about leadership, machinist theory, and onboard machine shop installation and testing. Since finishing the apprenticeship, she has earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, and is currently employed in a management position with the company.

“Pursuing an apprenticeship was the best decision I have ever made,” she said. “It afforded me a lot of opportunities and built confidence in me I would not have had otherwise.”        

Find an apprenticeship program or learn how to sponsor one at

Editor’s note: Regina’s story is one example of an effective workforce program in action. View more success stories here.

Briar Gibbons is an intern with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Public Affairs in Philadelphia.


U.S. Department of Labor Blog

Electrician Lights the Path to Apprenticeship



Ronald Hopkins (left) and Stephen Humphrey credit apprenticeship with their successful careers.
Ronald Hopkins (left) and Stephen Humphrey credit apprenticeship with their successful careers.

For Ronald Hopkins, apprenticeship has meant a successful career and lifelong friendships. After decades as an electrician, he loves to encourage new apprentices and challenge their expectations.

“There’s more to this profession than what you see on TV,” he says.

In observance of National Apprenticeship Week in November, the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) hosted a group of current, former, and prospective apprentices in Fort Worth, Texas, and Ronald was there to share his insight. IEC has a national four-year apprenticeship program that requires at least 144 hours of classroom training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year.

Ronald understands the rigors of the program as both a graduate and a current superintendent who consults on the program’s curriculum. He has experienced all the ups and downs in the industry as technology and safety standards have evolved.

Ronald started his apprenticeship in 1982 after relocating to Texas from Las Vegas. As a third generation electrician he understood the value of the program and the career opportunities that would follow. After completing the program with IEC, Ronald became licensed. From his first job more than 30 years ago, Ronald recalls a sense of satisfaction in a job well done.

“When we turn on the power for the first time and everything goes according to plan it’s very exhilarating,” he says.

Today he works as a superintendent, a position he’s held for more than 20 years. He touts continuing education as one of the keys to his success and one of the many reasons he remains involved in growing IEC’s apprenticeship efforts.

His professional success has had benefits for his family as well, as Ronald has been able to provide a comfortable quality of life and opportunities to travel. And he’s made lifelong friendships. Ronald and Stephen Humphrey met in the apprenticeship program and have maintained a working relationship throughout the years, even when their careers led them to different companies. Both contribute to the apprenticeship program at IEC by sharing their experiences and helping to develop the curriculum.

“I would not be where I am today without the apprenticeship program,” said Ronald. “Through the program you get a lot of chances to network. It’s why I have never been without a job.”

To learn more about exploring apprenticeship opportunities, or how apprenticeship can work for your business, visit

Chauntra Rideaux is a public affairs officer for the U.S. Department of Labor.


U.S. Department of Labor Blog

IT Apprenticeship information



Aligning veterans and transitioning Active Duty personnel with IT Apprenticeship, training and certification programs.  Produce clear pathways into and through programs leading to life-sustaining careers.
EC-Council CCISO Certification Training Washington, D.C.
Monday Aug 14th – Aug 18th, 2017 E-Mail:
Experts estimate cyber cyber security market will grow from $ 77 billion in 2015 to $ 170 billion by 2020. This will happen largely because cyber attacks will cost businesses between $ 400 to $ 500 billion a year. Even as cyber security professionals try to combat this epidemic, the odds are stacked against them.
Opportunities in cyber security are growing faster than employers can fill them. As the demand for the cyber security workforce is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019, the industry is projecting a shortfall of 1.5 million security professionals. As the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report warned, even as cyber attacks and data breaches increase each year, there is a global shortage of information security professionals of up to One million professionals in the US alone. Prepare for a career in this fast-growing cyber security space.
The Departments of Labor, Education, and Veteran Affairs are reforming their programs to enable the use of education benefits for apprenticeships:
– The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program is authorized by Congress under Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 31.  It is sometimes referred to as the Chapter 31 program.  The VR&E program assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities to prepare for, find and keep suitable jobs.
– Streamlining GI Bill benefits for apprentices. Through a partnership between the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Labor, employers now have a fast-track for their veteran employees to access their GI Bill benefits for registered apprenticeships, helping more than 9,000 veteran apprentices receive the benefits they have earned.

In the model, the traditional Workforce role of “Registered Training Provider” is enhanced with a Workforce Role of “Registered Apprenticeship Provider” …

Align apprenticeships to pathways for further learning and career advancement:Apprenticeships that embed industry-recognized skills certifications or reward workplace learning with college credit provide an affordable educational pathway for those who need to earn while they learn, and apprenticeships linked to pre-apprenticeship programs can help more Americans access this training and get on an early pathway to a good career.

Scale apprenticeship models that work: Across the country, there are pockets of excellence in apprenticeship, but all too often these successful models are unknown in other regions or to other employers. These grants will build from strength and invest in innovations and strategies to scale apprenticeships – including to market the value of apprenticeships, make them more attractive to women and other Americans who have been underrepresented, increase the return on investment for workers and, or build national and regional partnerships to expand apprenticeships.

The Departments of Labor, Education, and Veteran Affairs are reforming their programs to enable the use of education benefits for apprenticeships.

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