BuildItAZ Apprenticeship Initiative

Governor Hobbs at lecturn with a group of people at an announcement event

Arizona is a national model for innovative and successful workforce development programs. Our collaborative approach brings together government, education, and industry to develop comprehensive, award-winning, and scalable solutions. 

BuildItAZ Apprenticeship Initiative represents Arizona’s latest workforce advancement, connecting workers with the skills and know-how needed for jobs in the state’s construction and trades industry  with the goal of doubling the number of construction and trades registered apprentices. All of this work is aimed towards meeting the building needs of our growing 21st-century economy – from housing to semiconductor fabs to broadband and electric vehicle infrastructure. 

What are the goals of the BuildItAZ initiative?
  • By the end of 2026, Arizona will double the number of construction and trades registered apprentices
  • Increase access to effective pre-apprenticeship programs that directly enroll in registered apprenticeship programs, creating pathways, especially for women and other underrepresented learners in the trades
  • Update existing registered programs’ rules and regulations to reflect current market trends and best practices
  • Create an apprenticeship grants office to secure funding that expands apprenticeship programs, and direct agencies for the first time to actively apply for federal apprenticeship funds
  • Increase funding and develop strategies for meeting increasing green economy workforce demands and filling green jobs, for projects such as EV charging stations and solar panel installation
  • Increase the number of adults in Arizona with an industry-recognized credential, contributing towards meeting the state’s attainment goal, Achieve60AZ (60% education attainment by 2030)
What is being delivered by the BuildItAZ initiative?
Governor Hobbs at lecturn
  • New funding for construction trades apprenticeships: To build on current programs and focus on emerging needs in our workforce, the Governor has allocated $500,000 in federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds for the expansion of existing employer-funded registered apprenticeships. These funds will be used to support the hiring of instructors and purchase of equipment to expand the capacity of current successful and high-quality apprenticeships growing our skilled workforce in Arizona. This funding serves as a down-payment for future expansions and investments in apprenticeship programs.

    Learn more about the BuildItAZ capacity-grant awards (coming soon)
  • Expanded pathways for Arizona communities underrepresented in the trades: Funding will also be available for expanding access to effective pre apprenticeship programs that directly enroll in registered apprenticeship programs, creating pathways, especially for women and other underrepresented learners in the trades
  • Increase the number of graduating registered apprentices: Governor Hobbs will work with the Arizona Apprenticeship Advisory Committee at the Department of Economic Security to evaluate and increase the ratios of journeymen to trainees where appropriate so the state can increase the throughput of trades apprentices joining the workforce.
  • Increase the number of postsecondary education certificates: Education should not be at the expense of getting a good job. They should go hand in hand to promote life-long learning. Apprenticeships provide both a pathway to a postsecondary credential and a career. Increasing apprenticeships will also increase postsecondary attainment, in turn increasing Arizonans’ wages, lifetime earnings, job security, and overall well-being.
  • Appoint trades representatives to Workforce Arizona Council: Governor Hobbs will use her appointment power to the Council, responsible for creating the vision for Arizona’s use of federal WIOA funds, to increase labor and trades representation on the Council. The Council is in the process of drafting Arizona’s next four-year plan for its WIOA funds, due to the Department of Labor in 2024, an opportunity to expand and update strategies for meeting future workforce needs.
  • Establish work group: Governor Hobbs has directed the Workforce Arizona Council administrator to establish a workgroup with construction and trades representatives, industry, Arizona agencies, education, and non-profit organizations to deliver a plan within 90 days.
  • Whole of government approach: Governor Hobbs has directed policy advisors for DES, ACA, OEO, and ADOT to create specific policy recommendations that will enable greater participation of underrepresented groups and increase the capacity of registered apprenticeship construction and trade programs. 
Read the complete BuildItAZ 2023-2026 Plan.