State Initiative

Oregon Provides Child Care Support to Trade Apprentices

Mar 13, 2020

Recognizing that child care is a barrier to apprentice recruitment and retention, and in an effort to diversify their workforce, the Oregon Department of Transportation and Department of Labor and Industries have begun working together to support highway and construction trade apprentices with child care and other supports.

Child care is an essential component of a state’s economy and innovative partnerships between state offices can often result in big payoffs both for families and for employers. Recognizing that child care is a barrier to apprentice recruitment and retention, and in an effort to diversify their workforce, the Oregon Department of Transportation and Department of Labor and Industries have begun working together to support highway and construction trade apprentices with child care and other supports.

The partnership provides direct payment to licensed child care providers serving apprentices, as well as support in finding care during the non-traditional hours that trades often require. Higher levels of child care assistance are available to apprentices who attend budgeting, parenting, and nutrition classes. In addition, the program supplies apprentices with necessary tools and protective equipment, transportation assistance, and referrals to other supportive community services. The combined impact of these supports has resulted in higher completion rates for many apprentices, particularly for black men and women, and evaluations show that the program has helped close the gap on completion rates when compared to white men. The program has served 169 apprentices since 2011.

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