Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly ceremonially signed House Bill 2292, bipartisan legislation that promotes and expands apprenticeships with businesses, healthcare organizations, educational institutions, and nonprofit groups through the use of tax credits and grants. The legislation, known as the Kansas Apprenticeship Act, also creates a matching grant program for eligible higher education institutions based on the number of engineering program graduates.
“Registered Apprenticeships are one of the most effective ways we can build our state's skilled workforce,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “That's why I signed this bipartisan law to build on our efforts to expand and modernize apprenticeships. Now we are preparing even more Kansans to fill the high-demand, high-wage jobs we are creating throughout the state.”
In September 2022, Governor Kelly established Kansas’ first Office of Registered Apprenticeship to increase the state’s workforce development efforts and meet the talent needs of businesses. Kansas lawmakers authorized $13 million in total annual funding. It is the single largest and most significant financial investment Kansas has made in Registered Apprenticeships.
“The investments being made now will help make Kansas become a top 25 apprenticeship state by 2025, which is a long-standing goal of the Kelly administration,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “To reach that level, we will need to add nearly 10,000 new apprentices, and the Kansas Apprenticeship Act will help us achieve that goal.”
While the Registered Apprenticeship model is expanding in established skilled trades industries such as manufacturing and construction, additional industries such as healthcare, IT, human resources, agricultural manufacturing, and distribution and logistics now take advantage of the programming.
“The intent of the Apprenticeship Act is to make it easier for Kansas businesses to hire and maintain programs that meet their needs,” Shonda Anderson, Director of Apprenticeship and Internship for the Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship, said. “On-ramps are being created for Kansans to enter careers that are family-sustaining and long-term. We want to make it easier for residents to remain here in the state.”
Currently, there are more than 4,000 apprentices who live in Kansas. In the past year alone:
- The number of new apprentices has almost doubled (252 to 473).
- The number of new programs has more than doubled (5 to 12).
- The number of new occupations added has more than doubled (19 to 47).
- The most in-demand occupations that now have apprenticeship programs established include teacher educator, phlebotomist, welding bench technician, and cyber security. A full list of multi-employer intermediaries can be found here.
The Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship will have a series of statewide roundtable events with local workforce boards, joint apprenticeship training councils, multi-employer intermediaries, business and industry, and higher education. Announced events include:
- Wichita, July 25
- Great Bend, July 26
- Emporia, August 9
- Topeka and Kansas City, early August
The Office also will be visiting established Registered Apprenticeship programs, training providers, and higher education providers from Norton, Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, and Hays in late July.