NWI.LIFE: Center of Workforce Innovations helps employers launch non-traditional apprenticeship programs including Childcare Development Associate Credential program

By: Lauren Grasham

Last Updated: October 22, 2021

Center of Workforce Innovations helps employers launch non-traditional apprenticeship programs including Childcare Development Associate Credential program – NWILife

The Center of Workforce Innovations (CWI) is offering apprenticeship programs tailored to every employer’s needs.

“CWI helps employers to develop registered apprenticeship programs to meet the training needs of their employees. Some apprenticeship programs may look unique based on what the company is looking for,” said Christine McConnell, Project Manager for apprenticeships at CWI.

When looking to establish apprenticeship programs, McConnell said they work with those within the organization to find the best fit for them.

“Often we’ll look at the occupations that are most in-demand within their organization and seek to fulfill those occupational titles. We work towards finding an educational provider who can offer up the educational component of an apprenticeship. We connect them and, in many cases, offer funding towards the ​training,” McConnell said.

One apprenticeship program CWI launched and funded was a Childcare Development Associate Credential (CDA) program, which allows people to work with children in various settings such as daycares, preschools, in family childcare, or as a home visitor.

McConnell said the CDA program works around the schedule of those who work during the day and whose schedules may prevent them from attending class during normal business hours.

“Something that we’ve done in the past was to focus on an online educational component to best meet the needs of many childcare workers and work around the schedules of the families that they’re caring for, or for those who may not be able to get into a class physically because of their job,” she said.

 McConnell said the online portion began in 2019 and has been a huge success.

She also credits the success of the program to CWI’s personal approach with each organization to make sure the program fits their particular needs and is custom fit just for them.

McConnell believes the employer plays an integral part in the program’s success.

“The employer with an apprenticeship plays a huge part in the way they designate mentors to come alongside the apprentice who will support them throughout the program. Having those caring mentors that are there daily that can help guide the apprentice is vital,” she said. “The apprentices that we worked with are thankful for the opportunity to receive schooling and funding put forth by the state and federal government to help support their apprenticeship journey.”

McConnell said CWI is there to help the employer step by step throughout the process.

CWI provides guidance to employers in most occupations and will help them to determine if they qualify for funding to launch an apprenticeship program, while also leading them through the registration process.

“We are here to help our regional employers explore what an apprenticeship program may look like for them,” McConnell said. 

For more information on the Childcare Development Associate Credential program and other apprenticeship programs, employers should reach out to Christine McConnell at cmconnell@cwicorp.com or call 219-462-2940, ext. 1050. 

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