Apprenticeships 101 Series: Understanding Their Potential for Latino Equity in the Workforce

Our commitment to continuing to ensure that Latino job seekers have access to jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and offer opportunities for career advancement has driven us to promote apprenticeships as an effective alternative to Latino equity in the workforce.

Many might think a 4-year degree is needed to obtain a well-paying job. However, other alternatives can help job seekers succeed in the workforce. And it is not only a win for them but also for employers.    

What is an Apprenticeship? 

An apprenticeship is a job from day one that combines on-the-job training, mentorship, and related classroom instruction. Over the years, apprenticeship programs have been implemented in telecommunications and media, IT, finance, healthcare, and automotive industries.  

These are career pathways where employers can develop their future workforce, and workers can get critical experience through paid and credentialed programs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 92% of apprentices retain employment after program completion, and increasing apprenticeship occupations could fill 3.2 million jobs.  

Furthermore, apprenticeships can become crucial in addressing diversity and inclusion of Latinos in the workforce by investing Hispanic talent into the respective organizations.  

What is UnidosUS doing? 

Even though efforts from the nonprofit and private sectors have been enforced and the apprentice population has become more diverse over time, unfortunately between 2010-2019, only 18.3% identified as Hispanic. For this reason, in collaboration with Jobs for the Future, UnidosUS is a member of the DEIA Technical Assistance Center for Excellence in Registered Apprenticeships.  

Today, we provide coaching and resources for employers interested in creating equitable apprenticeship opportunities; facilitate technical assistance, supporting knowledge, and information sharing towards integrating apprenticeship as a sustainable model for hiring and sourcing; and connect employers with our almost 300 Latinx-serving nonprofits across the country, providing a sustainable talent pipeline for our employer partners.  

Some of Our Affiliates are Already Taking the First Steps 

This is the first piece in our blog series where we will highlight some of our Affiliates that have already created their own apprenticeship programs.  

We will share their journey about the steps taken to form their program, lessons learned, and the opportunities apprenticeships have created in their respective organizations. You will discover how these Affiliates increase job seekers’ chances while positively impacting our communities nationwide and hear from first-hand apprentices and their experience in such programs.  

Stay tuned for the upcoming publications in this series.


Written By: Jorge Flores

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