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States, industry partners launch workforce training efforts focused on 21st century jobs in CA, KY, MD, MI, NC, TN

April 12, 2018

Due to the effectiveness of employer-sponsored training program, U.S. states are working to build partnerships with industry partners that leverage public resources to help develop a 21st century workforce that addresses specific industry needs. Over the last month, partnerships have been announced between states and key industry leaders including AGCO, CVS, Tesla, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Some of those collaborations are detailed below.

California & North Carolina

Tesla officially announced the Tesla START program – a 12-week training program aimed at providing students with the technical skills they need to work for the electric car manufacturer. Tesla also announced exclusive partnerships with community colleges in both California and North Carolina to oversee the programs on their campuses.

The effort will serve as a capstone for automotive technician curriculums at the respective institutions of higher education. During the program, students will develop technical expertise and earn certifications through a blended approach of in-class theory, hands-on labs and self-paced learning. Tesla hopes that this will provide students with a smooth transition from college to full-time employment.

Kentucky, Michigan, & Tennessee

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced the next phase of its Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) Program. Via a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee will host statewide TPM Academies. These academies consist of workshops led by the U.S. Chamber Foundation for business professionals to receive instruction on talent pipeline strategies and guidance for implementation as well as access to curriculum, technical assistance, relevant resources and tools, and a peer-to-peer learning network.

After two years of these TPM Academies, participants (i.e., employers, employer-led associations, and education providers) should develop new partnerships, strategies, and ultimately formal programs to improve their state’s talent pipeline through apprenticeships and other employer-sponsored training. The intent of these academies is to help employers to play an expanded leadership role as “end-customers” of education and workforce partnerships.


The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation announced a new registered apprenticeship program with CVS Health. The program will provide registered apprenticeship experiences for pharmacy technicians and pharmacy managers across the state.

In addition to CVS Health, Cooper Electrical Services, ConnectWork, LLC, Maryland Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, Npower, and the Education Foundation for Baltimore County Public Schools also announced apprenticeship programs across a spectrum of industries.

The state also saw several organizations expand their programs including the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (BACH) and the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MD MEP). MD MEP’s program will focus on additive manufacturing technicians and 3-D printing.


In partnership with Apprenticeship Minnesota, AGCO — an agricultural equipment manufacturer — announced the launch of a new registered apprenticeship program for mechatronics technicians and welders/assemblers to support the company’s efforts to recruit, train and retain skilled workers. It will teach new mechatronics technicians and welders/assemblers how to manufacture the company’s agricultural machinery and equipment. The state will pay AGCO $5,000 for each apprentice the Georgia-based manufacturer hires in Minnesota.


California, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennesseeworkforce