New law to expand apprenticeship program availability signed

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A piece of legislation to strengthen apprenticeship programs at Virginia's community colleges has been signed into law. Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill Friday.

It requires the Virginia Community College System to develop and deliver uniform, related instruction for registered apprenticeships in high-demand programs for which coursework is not otherwise available.

“Apprenticeships can be instrumental in gaining the practical experience and developing the high-demand skills to be competitive in our 21st-century workforce,” said Northam. “However, there are businesses across out Commonwealth that want to take on apprentices, but are not located in a region of the state where the necessary coursework is available. This bill will ensure that all Virginians have access to the related instruction they need take to advantage of apprenticeship programs, regardless of where they live.”

The bill was sponsored by Delegate Matthew James (D-80th) in the 2019 General Assembly.

The Virginia Board of Workforce Development and the Virginia Employment Commission will determine what will qualify as a high-demand program.

The instruction for the programs will be available statewide online and in classroom settings.

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