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The L&I Blog

Number of apprentices in the state reach new record

Nov. 20, 2018

by Matthew Erlich

Washington has a new all-time record for the number of people participating in registered apprenticeship programs in the state: 18,947.

The total was reached in late October, according to the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). The previous record was 18,379 participants reached in early 2008.

“The construction boom and added training programs in the manufacturing, IT, and in the medical field are fueling interest in registered apprenticeships,” said Jody Robbins, manager of L&I’s Apprenticeship Program. “The increased focus of the state, business, and education representatives is also making a difference.”

The announcement coincides with National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 12-18. Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed a proclamation celebrating the week and the positive effect apprenticeships have on Washington’s economy.

signed proclamation

Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed a proclamation celebrating the week and
the positive effect apprenticeships have on Washingtons economy.

“Apprenticeship programs combine training in real-world skills, with on-the-job experience and classroom education without debt,” said Robbins, noting apprenticeships usually take between two and five years to complete. “Six months after finishing training a person can be making more than $70,000 a year.”

Robbins noted there are more than 4,500 employers participating in apprenticeships. There are also training programs in more than 180 different occupations, including high tech, health care, and traditional trades such electrician, carpenter, and ironworker.

L&I’s Apprenticeship Program (, provides consulting for businesses and training programs looking to start a registered apprenticeship. There is also a complete list of apprenticeship programs and requirements.

There are other websites and events available for people interested in finding out more about the benefits of apprenticeships and how to get started:

  • Offers information on projects connected to Gov. Inslee’s Career Connect Washington initiative, the effort to create more than 29,000 career-connected learning experiences by September 2019. 
  • Provides information for youth, career seekers, and employers, as well as links to WorkSource career tools.

The 2018 Pacific Northwest Apprenticeship Conference will take place Dec. 4-5 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center. For more information, or to register, go online to

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