Governor Parson Recognizes National Apprenticeship Week, Commends Missouri’s Second in Nation Ranking for Apprenticeships

NOVEMBER 12, 2019

 — At today’s Apprenticeship Missouri Summit in Columbia, Governor Mike Parson recognized National Apprenticeship Week and commended Missouri’s second in the nation ranking for new and completed apprenticeships. 

Missouri recently reached a milestone of 10,000 new Registered Apprenticeships for Fiscal Year 2019, ranking the state second in the nation for new apprenticeships according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. Missouri also ranks second in the nation for the number completed apprenticeships with 3,614 completed in Fiscal Year 2019. 

“Apprenticeships play a critical role in our efforts to develop a workforce that is prepared to meet the demands of the future,” Governor Parson said. “We are proud to be leading the nation in apprenticeships, and we will continue working to increase apprenticeship opportunities, strengthen our workforce, and give Missourians the skills and on-the-job training they need to be successful.”

Following his remarks at the summit, Governor Parson signed Executive Order 19-20 creating the Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning (OAWBL) within the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. 

Missouri currently has 15,189 active apprentices with 472 registered programs involving more than 3,600 employers. The primary goal of OAWBL is to increase the number of participants in apprenticeships and other work-based learning experiences with an immediate goal of 20,000 participants by 2025.

“Establishing the Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning gives our department a strong foundation from which to continue our efforts to increase apprenticeships in Missouri,” Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan said. “We are excited for the opportunity to expand and modernize apprenticeships as we strive to help all Missourians get on a path to success.”

“Apprenticeships are a proven way to help Missourians skill-up and meet our workforce needs. We are proud that Governor Parson and his administration acknowledge the success of these programs and are committed to keeping this momentum alive in our state,” Office of Workforce Development Director Mardy Leathers said. 

OAWBL will engage and coordinate with the U.S. Department of Labor to expand federal apprenticeship opportunities in Missouri, specifically targeting emerging industries and diverse populations. OAWBL will also work with all state agencies to implement apprenticeship programs and other similar earn-and-learn programs. 

In addition to the Executive Order, Governor Parson issued a proclamation in October designating the week of November 11 - 15, 2019, as Registered Apprenticeship Appreciation and Awareness Week, coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week. 

Registered Apprenticeships are a highly flexible, “earn while you learn” training model for employment that increases pay as the apprentice reaches higher productivity levels. In addition to rewarding performance, Registered Apprenticeships combine employer-driven, job-related instruction with extensive on-the-job learning under the supervision of a trained professional. After completing a Registered Apprenticeship, the apprentice receives a nationally-recognized occupational credential.

For more information on Missouri Registered Apprenticeships, visit