Labor Department promotes registered apprenticeships

The U.S. Department of Labor will mark 2021 National Apprenticeship Week November 15-21. The event allows labor and business leaders, educational institutions, career seekers and other partners to demonstrate support for apprenticeships in preparing a highly skilled, diverse workforce to meet the talent needs of employers and train Americans for good-paying jobs across multiple industries.

“Registered apprenticeships provide a path to the middle class for workers, and this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to bring together partners with a vested interest in expanding programs and creating a pipeline to success attainable for everyone,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “National Apprenticeship Week allows stakeholders to engage with one another, generate ideas and share creative solutions for encouraging apprenticeships, retraining our workforce and rebuilding our middle class.”

First observed in November 2015, National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the role of apprenticeship in helping workers earn while they learn and grow the economy. Since its establishment, the event has prompted more than 5,000 gatherings, 700 proclamations and 470,000 attendees across the country. Social distancing protocols forced many 2020 observances to be virtual, which challenged participants to find creative methods to engage audiences and expand reach. Events in 2021 may incorporate virtual and in-person collaborations as participants promote awareness, showcase innovation, explore workplace solutions and identify opportunities for partnerships.

National Apprenticeship Week furthers the department’s commitment to supporting the White House infrastructure plan to create jobs that make America more competitive and provide opportunities to workers from marginalized communities.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cincinnati-based Sims Lohman Inc. for exposing workers to amputation hazards when it failed to ensure machine safety procedures were followed and machine guards were in place. An agency investigation determined that the granite fabricator a) did not use lockout/tagout procedures to prevent workers from coming in contact with operating machine parts; and, b) operated machinery with missing or inadequate guarding and improperly stored flammable liquids. OSHA proposes penalties of $203,826 for three repeat safety violations, following a February 2020 citation for similar violations.

“Sims Lohman failed to meet its obligation to develop machine safety programs and train workers on how to control hazardous energy to prevent serious injuries,” says OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery in Cincinnati. “Lack of adequate machine guarding remains one of OSHA’s most frequently cited hazards. Employers have a responsibility to continually review and update their procedures to ensure workers are protected on the job.”