Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 10:55 AM
Orchid A (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Devlin Hanson, Urban Institute
Between 2011 and 2016, more than one million veterans are projected to leave the military and reintegrate into civilian life. There is substantial concern about the ability of new and current veterans to reintegrate into the workforce, from politicians, veterans and employers alike. According to a 2012 survey of veterans, 70 percent say that “finding a job” is the greatest challenge in transitioning.

One possible explanation is that many veterans have trouble translating military experience to civilian employers or may have to spend years training to receive a civilian certificate for a job they have been doing for years in the military. This sentiment is echoed in a study of employer perspectives on hiring veterans, where companies sited “veterans’ difficulty in translating their military experience to the civilian workplace” as a particular challenge in hiring veterans.

The United Services Military Apprenticeship Program can potentially bridge the gap between military experience and civilian job requirements, by allowing military personnel to document their skills and earn a DOL certificate while in the military. USMAP is large and growing; it makes up nearly one quarter of all apprenticeships in the United States and has grown rapidly from 51,000 participants in 2008 to 88,000 in 2013. Despite it's potential and scale, there have been no studies of the program to date.

This report presents the findings of an implementation study conducted by the Urban Institute and L&M Policy Research. In order to conduct this study, the Urban-L&M team interviewed key staff members involved with USMAP operations and conducted 11 focus groups at two Navy and two Marine Corps bases. This report describes the primary program components of USMAP and how these differs from civilian apprenticeships.  In addition, this report will describe the strengths and weaknesses of the program from the perspective of key stakeholders and the service members who participate in the program.