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In February 2021, the Office of Workforce Development launched an initiative to fund pre-apprenticeship programs throughout the state.

A $1 million investment of federal funds will be used to create pre-apprenticeship opportunities, supporting pathways to Registered Apprenticeships.

Community colleges, local workforce development boards, career and technical education programs, and some labor management organizations will be eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000. Grants can be used to develop curriculum, to build an apprenticeship program, and will require a pilot cohort.

MO Apprentice Ready will strive to meet the following goals: to create 10 new pre-apprenticeship programs, to increase the diversity of Registered Apprenticeships, and to increase active apprentices in existing programs through pre-apprenticeship.

Pre-apprenticeship is a program or set of services designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a pre-apprenticeship program must have a documented partnership with at least one Registered Apprenticeship program.

Applications opened Feb. 17, and will close on Monday, March 15. Grant recipients will be announced on Thursday, April 1. To view the application and other relevant information, please click here.

If you have any questions about the application and its process, please contact

In April, Dr. Mardy Leathers will be presenting on the vision and need for pre-apprenticeship programs in the State of Missouri at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Workforce 2030 conference, please visit the Workforce Conference 2030 site for more information.

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