The TRACE Experience
Apprenticeship and the Disability Community
Implementation and Logistics
This Manual is produced by the New Mexico Division of Vocational
Rehabilitation, TRACE Apprenticeship Program, under a grant from the
U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration.
State of New Mexico
Department of Education
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Public Education Commission/ State Board of Education
Christine V. Trujillo…………………………………… District 3
Catherine M. Smith, Vice Chair……….……………. District 6
Millie Pogna, Secretary………………………………..District 2
M. Andrew Garrison, Member…………………………………..District 1
Millie Pogna, Member…………………………………………....District 2
Christine V. Trujillo, Member………………………………… District 3
Aileen A. Garcia, Member.District 4
Johnnie Thompson, Member………………………………… District 5
Catherine Smith, Member……………………………………….District 6
Mr. John A. Darden, Member…………………………………...District 7
Karen Haughness, Member …………………………………..District 8
Dennis James Roch, Member…………………………………. District 9
Rosie Martinez, Member……………………………………… District 10
Dr. Veronica Garcia, State Secretary of Education
Dr. Katherine Cross-Maple, Deputy Secretary of Education
Gary Beene, Assistant Secretary for Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Andy Winnegar, Deputy Director, Professional Development Services
TRACE Program Staff
Carmen Taylor, Program Manager
Suzette Sandoval, Apprenticeship Placement Specialist
Tracy Alcaraz, Administrative Assistant
This publication of the Transition into Registered Apprenticeship, Careers, and Employment (TRACE) if
funded through the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, under a grant with the U.S.
Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. This publication does
not necessarily reflect their views and no official endorsement is inferred.
All activities of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are conducted without regard to race, color,
creed, religion, gender, age, national origin or type of disability.
The TRACE Experience
Apprenticeship and the Disability Community
Implementation and Logistics
Section I-Lessons Learned
A. Introduction 6
B. TRACE Program Summary 7
C. Benefits of the TRACE Program 8
D. How do DVR Clients Access TRACE services? 9
E. What Services Does TRACE Provide? 10
F. How Do TRACE Staff Work with Rehabilitation
Counselors and Local Rehabilitation Offices 11
G. How Does TRACE Staff Work with Employers? 11
H. How Does TRACE Staff Work with Regulatory
I. TRACE Staff and Contractor Contact List 13
J. Curriculum Development and Resources 14
K. Apprenticeship Standards Development 16
L. Apprenticeship Standards Challenges 17
M. Standards and Advisory Committees 19
N. Program Status: Where we are now, What we did
And Efforts for Sustainability 20
O. Logistics in Setting up a Similar Program 24
P. What is in it for Me? 25
Q. Success Stories 27
Section II- Program Resources and Useful Information
Attachment A -TRACE Program Flyer 30
Attachment B -TRACE Employer Flyer 33
Attachment C-Here is What They Do 36
Attachment D-Learn a Trade 37
Attachment E-How to Apply for an Apprenticeship Position 38
Attachment F -Client Brief Sheet 40
Attachment G -Confidentiality Release 42
Attachment H -Equipment Release Forms 43
Attachment I-Apprenticeship Guide to Employer Requirements 45
Attachment J-Web Based Employment Resources 47
Attachment K-Materials Produced by TRACE 49
The TRACE Experience
Transition into Registered Apprenticeship
The Transition into Registered Apprenticeship, Careers, and Employment (TRACE)
grant was designed to assist individuals with disabilities to obtain employment in
registered apprenticeship and to develop new apprenticeships that would provide viable
employment and training options for people with disabilities. Apprenticeship programs
are excellent because they offer employer paid training, a viable career path, health
insurance and retirement benefits. An apprentice generally earns more than minimum
wage to begin with. There are also regular pay increases at predefined steps in the
career ladder. These pay increases are given in one of two ways. Some employers pay
increases at six-month intervals, equivalent to 1000 on the job training hours and more
that 72 hours of related classroom instruction. The minimum requirements of an
apprenticeship to qualify for one year are 2000 hours of on the job training and 144 or
more hours of related instruction. However, most programs will also give credit for prior
experience and education. Apprenticeships take from one year to six years before the
apprentice achieves the journeyperson credential. In some cases, pay increases are
competency-based, thus providing incentive for an apprentice to achieve the
competencies earlier. Upon completion, the apprentice takes a standardized test for
his/her trade. If the apprentice passes the test and has completed his/her training, then
the apprentice becomes a Journeyperson. This credential identifies the journeyperson
as a master in his/her trade and capable of teaching others the trade.
In most of the states and territories, the predominant training programs are in the
construction trades, although there are over 865 occupations registered nationally, with
new ones being developed each year. The TRACE program has developed several
apprenticeship programs through the grant that will be discussed later in this manual.
The TRACE program has been successful in assisting clients to become employed in
apprenticeship programs, mostly in construction trades. In addition, the TRACE
program has developed new apprenticeship programs that will provide viable options for
a variety of vocational rehabilitation clients. TRACE program staff emphasizes
employment of individuals with disabilities, business partnerships, and raising the level
of awareness of apprenticeship and disability issues to many audiences. The goals of
the TRACE program are:
To offer employment options to disabled clients.
To develop new apprenticeships
To develop Bilingual materials
To serve urban and rural populations
To provide viable employment options for persons with disabilities
To meet the unique employment needs for trained workers of the business
B. The TRACE Program Summary
TRACE is a five year grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of
Special Education and Rehabilitation Services Administration. Transition into
Registered Apprenticeship program is a five-year grant, which uses apprenticeship to
improve high school graduation, prepare for employment, and earn a certificate or a
license. The program provides placement into employment with regular raises, benefits,
and career paths for DVR eligible clients. Goals of this program are to place individuals
with disabilities in apprenticeship training and employment and to develop new
Registered Apprenticeship programs must be by federal definition a minimum of 2000
hours in duration, with 144 classroom hours resulting in a nationally recognized
certificate. Apprenticeships offer a minimum of three raises per apprenticeship year and
a stated employee benefit program.
The TRACE program is one that encourages partnerships with a wide variety of
community resources and most importantly apprenticeship programs. This project will
be coordinated through many entities. Partners include the following: the Division of
Vocational Rehabilitation, public schools, New Mexico Highlands University, two year
post secondary institutions, the Department of Education Career-Technical and Adult
Services Division, Department of Labor, One Stop Career Centers, Department of
Health, the Apprenticeship community of 57 associations, State Apprenticeship Council,
employers, associations of employers, employee unions and community service
providers across the state.
The TRACE program was designed to develop apprenticeships suitable for New
Mexico’s economy and provides a meaningful work experience for those with
disabilities. TRACE program staff concentrated on the development of four new
registered apprenticeship programs and placement into existing apprenticeship
programs. These opportunities were for individuals, at least 16 years of age and older,
who have disabilities. Initially, new apprenticeship programs targeted four human
service career areas not currently available in the state; Job Coaching, Medical
Assistants, Child Care Aides and Assistants and Independent Living Specialist to work
in various residential programs (elderly, medical and disability programs). The four
apprenticeship areas were selected based needs identified in labor market data. As we
began working on the development of new apprenticeships, we were able to identify
opportunities and challenges to these identified occupations and began looking to
alternate opportunities and employer who would be willing to consider offering an
apprenticeship. The grant identified 171 placements into apprenticeship awareness,
pre- apprenticeship, and employment in registered apprenticeship. We were able to
exceed the total numbers. In June the number of clients served in all three levels
exceeded 513. New program development focused on those that could be developed
using the national apprenticeship list as a starting point.
C. Benefits of the TRACE program?
The TRACE program offered many benefits to not only people with disabilities, but also
to employers. The TRACE program benefited people with disabilities by offering
services such as apprenticeship information, career counseling, vocational
assessments to see if the client had the required skills and abilities to enter into an
apprenticeship and referrals to apprenticeship programs that would benefit that client.
In addition, TRACE program staff followed up with employers to let them know that a
client was going to apply for a position with their company. Once hired, TRACE staff
provided the client with tools, safety equipment, books, work clothing, union dues, and
any other items needed to ensure that the client had what he/she needed to begin the
job. TRACE staff followed up with clients and employers to determine success or
additional needs that the client could use.
The TRACE program improved opportunities and accessibility in employment for people
with disabilities. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation eligible clients and those identified
by other state disability organizations were eligible to apply to the TRACE program.
The TRACE program staff spent the first year of the grant networking with existing
apprenticeship programs in the construction and building trades' industries to find
openings for people with disabilities. The other more important task was to educate
employers about the wide range of disabilities and to trust that the TRACE program
referrals would net them applicants who were capable and able to perform on the job.
Most of current apprenticeship programs required manual dexterity, mobility, and the
ability to lift more than 50 pounds. Many require a high school diploma or GED and
good math and science skills. Some, but not all employers required preliminary
assessments of aptitude through a testing procedure. Some employers relied on
standardized tests, while other used their own industry assessments. For others, there
was not formalized testing involved.
Apprenticeship programs offer the advantage of earning a certification/credential that
will be accepted in all 50 states. Advantages of apprenticeship programs are that
training is on-the-job training, with employer paid related instruction, while earning a
wage that may be 40-50% of the journeyman’s wage. Most apprenticeship programs
offer an opportunity to progress in knowledge, skills and salary as the apprentice learns.
Registered apprenticeship programs require regular pay increases at pre-determined
time frames, or as certain competencies are achieved. Many of the apprenticeship
programs lead to high skill high wage jobs that are often comparable to salaries earned
by college graduates.
Job satisfaction is a key component is allowing a client to reap the benefits of a
placement. A good job match of a client’s skills, interests, and abilities is essential for
compatibility of the employee to the demands of the work. It is essential that the DVR
Counselors and TRACE staff get to know the client well enough to determine if the
client is suited and able to perform the essential functions of the job, with or without an
accommodation. Clients who were not appropriate applicants for certain
apprenticeships were encouraged to consider ones that would best suite their aptitudes,
interests and abilities. For example, people with a fear of heights or ones with epilepsy
were not referred to programs where they would be required to work at high elevations
without the benefit of walls to surround them. Ones who did not have the pre-requisite
math or reading skills received recommendations about programs that did not require as
high a level of academic skills. Basically, there was an effort to get the best placement
for a vocational rehabilitation client, with or without accommodations.
In terms of benefits to employers, TRACE staff provided them with viable screened
applicants for their positions. Initially, this was a challenge because we had to become
familiar with each program’s unique requirements. In addition, we had to educate
employers about the wide range of abilities within disability. Initially, there was a certain
amount of fear of the unknown from employers as we sent referrals their way. Once a
few employers experienced success with our applicants, they began to trust our
screening process and to seek out our applicants. The process did not happen
overnight. It took a lot of relationship building and consistent presence of TRACE staff
at events where the employers would attend such as Apprenticeship Council meetings,
job fairs, school career days and other workforce relevant events.
Another benefit of the TRACE program was that the TRACE program broke through
barriers to employment that clients faced, by earning credibility with employers. Many
employers did not understand the wide range of disabilities, nor did they understand
requirements under ADA. They feared being asked to consider hiring someone who
could not perform the essential functions of the job. A very real concern from them was
in regard to safety for the individual, as well as others working with this person. As time
went on, they were more relaxed knowing that persons referred to them as a job
applicant would be one who could perform the essential functions of the job, and that
we considered safety of our client in the determination process. An end of the program
survey asked apprenticeship coordinators how their views of disability had changed
since working with the TRACE program. One coordinator said, “There are many types
of disability and they don’t all preclude someone from working in the construction
industry.” Another said, “I saw that all individuals with disabilities just wanted to work
and provide for themselves and not to have to depend on anyone else and the TRACE
program allowed that to happen.”
D. How can a DVR eligible client access TRACE services?
Clients with disabilities accessed TRACE services through a referral from a DVR
Counselor, or by calling and making an appointment with a TRACE staff person.
Initially, it was set up so a DVR eligible client would access TRACE services through
referral from their DVR Counselor. TRACE staff has actively promoted their services
through a variety of venues, so many referrals have come from DVR as well as other
agencies. TRACE staff have met with clients and referred them to DVR, as well as
receiving referrals from DVR. Clients who are referred by another agency are given
information and then referred to DVR if they are an appropriate referral. If they are not
likely to quality, they are referred directly to the apprenticeship program or to another
resource that would best meet their immediate and long term needs. Clients interested
in accessing TRACE services must first be determined to be eligible for DVR services.
They must meet the following criteria:
Must have a physical or mental disability
Must have an employment goal
Must require rehabilitation services in order to be successful.
Eligibility will be determined through the DVR Office closest to the client’s home. The
DVR counselor and client will develop an individualized plan of employment (IPE) to
determine their job goals, rights, responsibilities, and who will do what as part of that
plan. If apprenticeship was the goal, then the TRACE Apprenticeship Placement
Specialist or the Program Manager met with the client and the DVR counselor to
develop a work plan. They discussed apprenticeship programs with open enrollment,
potential placement locations, and possible assistance that the TRACE program can
provide to facilitate client success on the job.
E. What Services Does TRACE Provide?
The philosophy of the TRACE program was to prepare the client to advocate for
themselves. Therefore, the client had to be able to apply for the position on their own.
Initially, TRACE staff went with clients to apply for positions, read tests for people with
disabilities and facilitated their participation in the job interview. With additional
experience, TRACE staff found that employers were not likely to hire an individual who
could not stand on their own. TRACE staff assisted clients to prepare for the application
and interview process. TRACE staff assisted clients with resumes, filling out
applications and coaching for the job interview. This yielded greater success and
empowerment for clients in the long run and resulted in a greater placement rate.
Depending on the goals of the individualized plan for employment, the TRACE program
supplied vocational rehabilitation and transition services. Vocational Rehabilitation and
Transition services may include but are not limited to:
Tools or equipment needed on the job
Specialized assistive or adaptive technology to allow participation by the client
Protective clothing items such as boots, hard-hats, eye goggles, welding aprons,
Short term training, not included in the DVR counselor’s assistance
Industry specific assessment, not otherwise covered by the employer or counselor
Interpreters (sign, Spanish, Native American Languages)
Job coaches Job Coaching or peer job coaching. (including services defined
federally as Rehabilitation or Transition Services under Vocational Rehabilitation.)
Tutors, note takers, test adaptations
Other items needed to allow a DVR client to fully participate on-the-job
F. How Did TRACE Staff Work With Rehabilitation Counselors and
Local Rehabilitation Offices?
TRACE staff worked with rehabilitation counselors and staff by introducing them to the
TRACE program and the resources that the TRACE program had to offer a job seeker.
TRACE staff served rehabilitation customers statewide, so presentations and mailings
to rehabilitation local offices were an initial cornerstone of the efforts to assist clients to
enter apprenticeship. TRACE staff worked from a centrally located office co-located
with the One-Stop operation. Sometimes TRACE staff referred job seekers to their local
rehabilitation offices. Rehabilitation counselors referred clients to the TRACE program.
TRACE staff assisted clients with career information, apprenticeship information,
locations, and with other services and resources that could be valuable to potential
clients. TRACE staff attended and offered their services to counselors when the job
seeker’s goal was apprenticeship, or if more information was needed by the client to
make a decision.
TRACE staff worked with rehabilitation counselors and rehabilitation counselors by
introducing them to the TRACE program and the resources that the TRACE program
has to offer a job seeker. TRACE staff visited the DVR offices throughout the state to
explain apprenticeship options and the TRACE program to DVR counselors. TRACE
staff assisted with resources to the client that could be included in the individual plan of
A Counselor’s Manual was developed to explain how the TRACE program works,
application forms, procedures, and sample apprenticeship tests. This manual is a tool
that the counselor can use to assist the client with a decision about entering
apprenticeship. A copy of the Counselor’s Manual is included in the attachments. This
manual has been revised to assist counselors once the TRACE program is no longer in
operation. Counselors will be able to refer clients to apprenticeship programs much the
same as TRACE did.
G. How do TRACE Staff Work with Employers
TRACE staff promote the concept of apprenticeship in a variety of forums to get the
message out that apprenticeship is not only an excellent training option, but that it offers
a viable option for developing a career ladder and earning a good wage. TRACE staff
invites employers to co-present to school audiences. TRACE staff shares information
about the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to employers to assist in re-tooling and
retraining an employee who was injured on the job. TRACE staff also assists
employers with information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, locations of
Job fairs and information about disabilities in general.
In general, employers do not have enough information about disabilities. They
frequently have stereotypes about what a person with a disability would look like.
TRACE staff has spent a lot of time educating employers about the wide range of
disabilities and services available to persons with disabilities. Employers have been
somewhat cautious about hiring persons with disabilities. Our approach has been to tell
them about the program and then spend some time in discussion about how the
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation serves to re-train and re-tool employees injured on
the job. We try to establish credibility by providing useful information to the employers,
so we are seen as a resource that they can call upon. This often allows us to have a
better dialogue with employers when we have persons interested in apprenticeship.
Building a trust relationship was a key component in the TRACE program. This trust
relationship was built on knowledge of the apprenticeship program requirements and a
track record of communicating with employers about what the position needs are. It
was important to spend adequate time with a client to get enough information about that
client, so that a reasonably good job match could take place. As employers began to
see that they were receiving screened applicants for their positions and that the clients
were reliable, suitable clients, they sent TRACE program staff job announcements.
TRACE staff and some DVR Counselors are now seen as a good resource for qualified
The TRACE program sponsored two apprenticeship conferences. The first conference
targeted only existing registered apprenticeship programs. The focus was on workplace
issues and ADA. Although the conference was well received by the participants who
attended, there were only 21 attendees. We had hoped for 65 to feel that it was a
success. One lesson we learned from this first conference was that we marketed an
“Employer’s Conference”, when we should have used the terminology “Apprenticeship
Coordinator’s Conference.” Several apprenticeship coordinators told us later that they
did not think that the conference was for them, but instead the company employer.
Lesson number two was that if you want buy-in and participation on a conference, you
need to include at least 50% of the target audience on the planning committee. The
third lesson that we learned was that we marketed to a narrow audience and could have
been more inclusive.
For our second conference we kept these things in mind. We sent out 400 surveys to
targeted audiences to determine what topics that they would be interested in having
conference sessions on. Survey results represented only about 10 % of those
surveyed. However, the survey gave us enough information to formulate a plan for
seeking presenters to address those topics. We were conservative about our ability to
deliver breakout sessions, so the entire conference was done as general sessions. We
developed a flyer that marketed the conference to a broader audience and indicated
who would benefit from attending the conference. The flyer was sent with registration
materials. About 500 conference invitations were sent to DVR Counselors, One-stop
Operators, apprenticeship programs, transition coordinators, and some at risk schools.
The conference brought people together who could benefit from networking with each
other. The conference was advertised on our agency web page. We had
apprenticeship program and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation vendor booths. We
had 139 attendees and 19 volunteers to serve on a committee to develop the
conference for next year. Lessons learned from the second conference were that if a
broad audience is targeted, there need to be breakout sessions that will address their
special information needs.
H. How do TRACE Staff work with Regulatory Councils/Directors
Apprenticeship in New Mexico is regulated by three entities: the State Apprenticeship
Council (SAC), the Bureau of Apprenticeship (BAT), and the Apprenticeship Assistance
Act Advisory Committee. The State Apprenticeship Council is the recognized regulatory
council to approve new apprenticeship registrations. The SAC consists of members
representing union and non-union members, employers, apprentices and public
members. The Bureau of Apprenticeship Employer Representative serves as an ex-
officio member of this board. The Bureau of Apprenticeship Training Representative
provides technical assistance to new programs as they decide to request national
certification. This person offers technical expertise to the two councils in the state. The
Apprenticeship Assistance Act Advisory Council oversees legislative dollars to provide
related training reimbursements to employers. This staff person also prepares
legislative fact sheets at the request of the board when they seek funding on an annual
basis. TRACE staff attends meetings of the two regulatory councils and network with
the council members and apprenticeship coordinators regarding apprenticeship.
TRACE staff included the directors of the councils on their advisory boards to develop
new apprenticeships. There has been a real team approach in working together in the
state for the betterment of apprenticeship programs and recruitment of apprentices.
I. TRACE Staff and contractor contact list
TRACE staff has offices located in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque area. The TRACE
staff directory is below
Carmen E. Taylor, Suzette Sandoval,
Program Manager Apprenticeship Placement Specialist
505-798-0482 Fax 798-0443 505-798-0443
Toll free 1-866-212-1638 Fax 505-798-0443
Web Page- www.tracenm.com
Tracy Alcaraz, Executive Secretary Albuquerque Program Address:
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Transition into Registered Apprenticeship
405 St. Michael’s Rd., Bldg. D Careers and Employment (TRACE)
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 TVI Workforce Training Center
(505) 954-8563 Fax (505) 954-8608 5600 Eagle Rock Rd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
J. Curriculum Development and Resources
The TRACE program has developed a number of flyers and manuals that can be used
in support of assisting people with disabilities to seek employment in apprenticeship.
There are also materials and forms that will be useful in managing a similar program. In
addition, there are materials that provide information step by step about how to develop
and register an apprenticeship program. Materials developed through the TRACE grant
include the following:
“Transition into Registered Apprenticeship”-TRACE Program service information
“Employer’s Guide”-How TRACE works with employers and job seekers
Transicion al Programa de Capacitacion Certificada en Carreras Profesionales y
Guia del Patrono-TRACE
TRACE-DVR Counselor Guide- 2001, revised 2004-Counselor’s guide to TRACE
services and assisting clients to enter apprenticeships and counselors to access
apprenticeship programs directly. Guide includes client assistance tools.
How to Develop a Registered Apprenticeship-2004, revised 2006- A step-by-step
manual for developing a registered apprenticeship from beginning to end.
Transition into Apprenticeship-Best Practices Program Guide-2001-Manual describes
lessons learned by the TIA program and next steps moving into the TRACE
Pathways to the Diploma Program: Implementation of the New State Graduation
Requirements for Students with Disabilities-March April 2001
Accommodations Manual- 2006-Describes simple accommodations that would allow
persons with disabilities to participate in employment.
Apprenticeship Programs Resource Guide-2006-Describes some of the basic
requirements of existing apprenticeship programs, including entry requirements and
duration of the apprenticeship program to completion as a journeyperson.
What Do I Need to Know to Apply for an Apprenticeship Position?-Step-by Step
information for applying for a registered apprenticeship, including tips for being
prepared for the application and gathering needed paperwork to apply.
Here is What They Do-Describes apprenticeship work and wage comparisons
Que Necesito Saber Para Solicitar un Puesto de Aprendiz?
La Industria de Construccion-Descripcion de Oficios
Web Page-The TRACE program resources can be reached at: www.tracenm.com
Forms-Available in both English and Spanish
Client Brief Sheet
Equipment Release Agreement
Registered Apprenticeship Standards-These standards were developed in
conjunction with TRACE program staff/contractors, employers and
apprenticeship advisory committees. Permission of the apprenticeship employer
is needed to distribute the standards.
Job Coaching/ Youth Development Practitioner-Vistas Sin Limites-New Mexico
Highlands University, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Dr. Jim Alarid and Bonnet Gurule
Job Coaching-Youth Development Incorporated (YDI), Albuquerque, New
Mexico-Sponsor/coordinator Everett Hill, Vice President for Education,
Employment & Training Programs.
Certified Nurse Assistant-New Mexico Certified Nurse Assistant Training Association
and Apprenticeship Committee, Developed a career lattice for Personal Care
Assistant moving into the Certified Nurse Assistant. Eight original employers
(Brownstone Personal Care, Wilson Family Care, M&M Respiratory, Quality
Continuum Hospice, Our House, Golden Gate, Total Health Care, and Sunshine
Health Care) Chair person Diane Young.
Disability Adjudicator-An apprentice-ability request has been sent to the National
Bureau of Apprenticeship for approval at the national level. Currently, the
national survey is in progress. The request is sponsored in support of the
Medicaid Buy-In program.
Eddy County Multi-Trade Association-Apprenticeships-Carlsbad New Mexico
The next programs were requested in support of an employer who has been awarded
statewide recognition for his hiring of people with disabilities. Standards were developed
and registered for the following new apprenticeships to the association.
Combination Welder HVAC Technician
Operating Engineer Electric Motor Repairer
Construction Craft Laborer
K. Apprenticeship Standards Development
Although the design of the program was to develop non-traditional apprenticeships,
the first opportunity to develop apprenticeships came through a request for
assistance from a DVR Rehabilitation Tech. She made many referrals to the Eddy
County Multi-Trade Apprenticeship program, an employer recognized by New
Mexico DVR for employing many DVR clients. Initially, she asked the State
Apprenticeship Council director for assistance, but at that time the Executive
Director of the Council was not able to give the assistance that they needed. This
left Eddy County in a position that they could not bid on some large government
jobs. Since Eddy County had a past history of hiring DVR clients, the decision was
made to assist them to get their standards written and submitted to the State
Apprenticeship Council for approval. This decision resulted in 7 new
apprenticeships for Eddy County to offer to their community.
The eighth Apprenticeship to be developed was for job coaches. Initially, a
contractor who had pulled the original committee together was hired to work on the
apprenticeship development and to facilitate the meetings. There were several
pattern standards at the national level that had components of the job description,
but initially the committee felt that the match was not close enough. They made the
decision to try and develop their own. This contractor later went on to other
contracts and TRACE staff and contractors took over the process. At this point the
decision was made to modify an existing Youth Practitioner pattern standard. This
modified model was adopted and registered by Vistas Sin Limites, at New Mexico
Highlands University. As we were working with this process, the Bureau of
Apprenticeship Employment Representative was also working with Vistas Sin
Limites and SER Jobs for Progress using the model that we were working with to
develop the other standards. There was information sharing that went back and
forth to both committees and all three were registered at the State Apprenticeship
The ninth apprenticeship was the Certified Nurse Assistant program. This program
sprung out of a collaborative effort between the TRACE program, the Office of
African American affairs and New Mexico DVR. Eight employers agreed to form an
association dedicated to the training and hiring of apprentices in the Certified Nurse
Assistants program. The Association planned to share training facilities and
journeymen trainers. In addition, they were seeking funding from the Workforce
Investment Act training funds to support training through community colleges for the
First Aid and CPR classes. The eight employers included ones representing nursing
homes, in home personal care, hospice, and smaller homes housing those in need
of assisted living. The CNA program requires 2000 on the job training hours, as well
as 144 hours of related instruction. This initiative began with referrals from Lanthia
Gillespie, a DVR Rehabilitation Tech assigned to the Office of African American
Affairs. The Bureau of Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Training Representative,
Elisa Gallegos and the State Apprenticeship Council Executive Director, Celina
Brewington offered technical advice and were part of the development committee.
The employers were excited about the prospects of networking and learning from
each other, as well as pooling resources for training of staff. The partnership of
people from different employers and agencies has been a meaningful one . This
apprenticeship program had hoped to get training dollars from WIA and other
sources, but did not follow up on the leads given by TRACE staff and contractors.
TRACE staff and contractors assisted them for 2 years. However, there was a need
to focus on other programs and clients, so TRACE faded their support except for
applicant referrals. As the program has progressed, interest and commitment have
slowed down on the part of the employers.
The tenth program, an apprenticeship for the occupation of disability adjudicator is a
work in progress. This is an occupation that TRACE staff has worked on off and on
during the life of the grant. The biggest challenge was that it is difficult to establish
and maintain an ascending scale of wages in a government setting. In the last year,
there was a renewed effort to get a disability adjudicator apprenticeship, first under
Disability Determination Services and then under the Medicaid Buy-In program.
Standards for this apprenticeship have been written and submitted to the U.S.
Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training to be considered for a national
apprenticeship standards. The Bureau of Apprenticeship representative Kenneth
Lemburg expects to have national approval by the end of June 2006. Once
registered nationally, the standards written in the state format will be submitted to
the State Apprenticeship Council for state approval and registration. The standards
are ready to be submitted to the SAC, so submittal will happen after national
approval as a registered occupation. The State registration could be as soon as
August, or as late as November because the SAC meets quarterly. The Disability
Adjudicator Apprenticeship program will also meet the New Mexico Governor’s
Initiative to employ more people with disabilities in state government. This
apprenticeship will be unique in that respect.
L. Apprenticeship Standards Challenges
In general, the concept of apprenticeship and training for staff is a viable one for
employers. There are benefits to the employer. It results in a trained staff member,
one who is committed to the apprenticeship and occupation. National standards
used by many of the apprenticeship programs across the country ensure consistent
training and education. However, training is expensive. The program is then
regulated by a state or national registration agency. This regulation exposes
programs to audits, additional record keeping and a commitment to the apprentice to
provide an ascending scale of wages. Most apprenticeship programs also provide
health and life insurance and a pension plan. To many employers, this can be
overwhelming and difficult to maintain. Although there are 865 apprenticeship
programs recognized nationally, there are few states that have apprenticeship
programs in other than construction. Another area where apprenticeships are
maintained is in manufacturing. Those non-traditional apprenticeships that do get
approved are not often maintained without some incentive to continue.
So why would employers want to have registered apprenticeships? For construction
programs, this makes sense, because they can then bid on more financially lucrative
government contracts. For others, the ability to share training expenses and to offer
an industry credential that is accepted in all 50 states and some internationally. This
credential is the hallmark of a quality trained workforce. For the journeyperson, it
means never having to start at the bottom and work your way up.
Although there was a significant amount of time devoted to pursuing additional new
apprenticeships, some of them did not come to fruition, due to a lack of a sponsor
willing to commit dollars to training and staff to maintaining the paperwork required
of a registered program, but we will discuss these because there were valuable
lessons learned from our efforts. There were other apprenticeship development
activities that we participated in expecting to get a registration, but eventually the
employer/sponsor decided not to do it. Those ones are Child Development
Specialist, Computer Technician-Support Specialist and Chef’s Program through the
Veteran’s Homeless Shelter.
For the Child Development Specialist, the concern for that they did not have the
financial resources to maintain an ascending schedule of wages. There was a good
deal of effort toward linking to the Lt. Governor’s initiative surrounding the year of the
child. Statewide leadership for Early Childhood through the Department of Children,
Youth and Families was initially very interested in making it happen. However, the
bottom line was that there needed to be sustainable state supplementary funding for
child care providers.
TRACE program staff pursued a computer technician apprenticeship through a
major corporation off and on for the last four years. Standards were written in
collaboration with their technical staff. Initially, they were not interested. After a
change in company policy related to the hiring of individuals with disabilities, they
renewed their interest. An advisory committee was established and the technical
trainers were very excited about putting their training into an apprenticeship format.
The biggest challenge was to modify the national standards into a framework that
would allow the corporation to put language into the standards that would address
rapid changes in computer technology. The bottom line when we last talked with
their staff was that the company had some major contracts that would require their
staff to focus on the new money maker for the corporation. In addition, they
maintain their profit margin at10%. Their profits had fallen from 10% to 8%, so the
company decided to reduce staff, including the person who was overseeing the
apprenticeship development. We have slim hope that they might eventually do an
Another program that requested our assistance to develop an apprenticeship was
the Rehabilitation Services for Veterans Program, known as RSVP. RSVP was
funded under a federal grant to provide rehabilitation and employment services to
homeless veterans. Under the grant, they bought an old hotel, which they opened to
homeless veterans. This hotel had been vacant for several years and had been
vandalized by homeless individuals, who gained entry for shelter. All personnel
hired by grant, with the exception of one person, had all been homeless at one point
in time. The program was designed to provide socialization training to residents.
There was a zero tolerance policy for drug or alcohol use. The program asked for
our assistance. After conversations, there were two apprenticeships that they were
interested in. One was for a cook or chef training program. The other was to utilize
existing residents with journeyman licensure in construction trades to re-model and
repair the hotel. The other initiative that they were interested in was to get
abandoned mobile homes, remodel and revamp then and then sell them for a profit.
The opportunities for apprenticeships with RSVP came to a halt with the end of their
TRACE program staff did outreach to a number of employers in our quest to develop
new apprenticeships. We feel that many people have a better understanding of
apprenticeship as a result of the TRACE program efforts. We hope that we can
informally foster these efforts on behalf of apprenticeship and people with
disabilities, even after the TRACE grant is gone.
M. Standards Committees and Advisory Committees
Standards committees are required for the development of apprenticeship
standards. The committee composition will depend largely on the way in which the
employers chose to develop them. Standards committees may be advisory to only
one employer, or to multiple employers and for single or multiple trades. In the case
of a single employer, an advisory can be smaller and reflect the autonomy of that
employer. In the case of multiple employers using a standards committee, the
decisions about standards and hiring reside with the committee. Standards
committees typically consist of employers, employees, apprenticeship coordinators,
educators and union representatives in the case of a union committee. TRACE
program staff has worked with employers to develop standards committees for new
apprenticeship development for occupations that would be accessible for a wider
range of people, including those with disabilities.
TRACE has developed advisory committees for each of the occupations that were
interested in having a registered apprenticeship consisting of various employers,
Department of Health, TRACE apprenticeship contractors, the SAC and BAT
directors and TRACE staff. The advisory committees were selected around a vested
interest in the occupation and having an industry standard of training. The most
compelling reasons for non-traditional employers to participate in an apprenticeship
program are the ability to share training resources, securing a trained workforce, and
the ability to access Apprenticeship Assistance Act dollars. For traditional,
construction industry apprenticeship programs, the reason to have a registered
program is to bid on financially lucrative city, state and federal construction jobs.
N. Program Status: Where We Are Now, What We Have Done, and
The TRACE program was funded under a Department of Education, Rehabilitation
Services Administration five-year grant. The TRACE program received a one year
extension, until September 30, 2006 to complete new apprenticeship development
activities. The grant had two major objectives: to place people with disabilities in
registered apprenticeship programs and to develop new apprenticeships. There are
many goals along the way that had to be accomplished before any of these could
happen. TRACE staff needed to learn about the goals and requirements of the grant
as well as DVR’s mission to serve people with disabilities. It was important for
TRACE staff to build relationships and network with Division of Vocational
Rehabilitation counselors, employers, regulation agencies, state and federal
agencies, high schools staff, district transition coordinators, postsecondary
institutions, apprenticeship coordinators, businesses, and most importantly people
with disabilities needing training, encouragement, and employment.
In the beginning, apprenticeship coordinators were uncomfortable talking with
TRACE staff about employment opportunities for people with disabilities. They were
not well- versed about the American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA). They were
apprehensive about being asked to hire someone who might not be able to meet the
essential functions of the job. They did not have a clear understanding about
essential job functions and the concept that an employee would have to meet these
essential job functions, with or without an accommodation. Gradually, TRACE staff
members were able to break through the barriers though attending meetings of the
various councils that apprenticeship coordinators would attend. It also meant
meeting with coordinators one on one, inviting coordinators to participate in school
presentations about apprenticeship and jointly participating in job fairs and
“Apprenticeship Day at the Legislature.”
Eventually, there were a few DVR clients hired. As each person was successful, this
success allowed others to be hired, because there was a better understanding of
what the TRACE program did and of disability. Employers appreciated that we
screened applicants and only referred ones, who would have a reasonable chance
of success on the job. They began to understand that for the benefit of both the
employer and the employee, we looked at the requirements of the job, the difficulty
of the related instruction, the physical requirements of the job and the aptitudes and
abilities that the applicant would bring to that position. Job matching was a vital part
of the process.
In the first two years of operation, referrals to the TRACE program were often not
appropriate to the apprenticeship programs. TRACE staff made many referrals to
DVR and other job seeking resources. An employer flyer was developed to
communicate with employers that we understood what they were looking for in an
employee. We had to promote our program, not only to DVR Counselors, but to
other groups who made referrals to the TRACE program, such as the Department of
Labor. A DVR Counselor’s Manual was developed to assist counselors and
rehabilitation techs to understand what the TRACE program could do for their
clients, what services would be provided and how to access the TRACE program
AS TRACE staff became more proficient in determining their processes, they
identified technical assistance needs and developed materials that are a part of the
TRACE program resources listed in this document. As the program phases out,
additional information will be sent to DVR staff that will assist them to provide similar
services to their clients. The DVR counselor’s manual has been revised to reflect
what apprenticeship is and how to access the programs. Some counselors are
comfortable enough now to contact the apprenticeship programs directly and make
referrals. Grants are intended to pave the way for sustainable efforts that can be
implemented long after the grant is gone. For DVR staff who has realized the
benefits of apprenticeship for their clients, there are rich opportunities in
Just to summarize, there are reasons that apprenticeship is so valuable a resource
for the job seeker. The advantages of participation in a registered apprenticeship
are many for both the client and the DVR Counselor. Apprenticeship offers free
employer-paid training, a reasonable starting wage, with an ascending scale of
wages, health and insurance benefits, a pension plan and a national certification.
This is a very substantial package to offer a job seeker. Registered apprenticeship
has built in protections for the safety of the apprentice. The method of training is
excellent for visual learners, who learn best by being shown how to do something
one-on-one by a journeyman in the trade.
The TRACE grant has exceeded many of the goals for the grant. The grant was
designed to serve 171 participants in all three levels of apprenticeship
(apprenticeship exploration, pre-apprenticeship, and registered apprenticeship). The
grant to date has served 514 applicants. In apprenticeship exploration and pre
apprenticeship, the grant exceeded its goals by nearly three times the original goal.
Placements were either met or exceeded for all but one goal. There was a goal of
seven placements in each new apprenticeship each year. Employers did not have
that volume of openings, so the grant did not make this placement goal. They did
however, exceed placements in existing registered apprenticeships.
What many people have asked is, “What types of disabilities do people have that
has allowed the TRACE program to place them, in light of the fact that many of the
apprenticeship positions have been in construction trades?” Basically, there needs
to be a good job match. TRACE staff interviewed clients to determine their interests,
skills and abilities. They then looked at the job requirements of the apprenticeship
and discussed those with the client. There were additional factors to be considered,
such as whether the client wanted to remain in a particular geographic area, or
whether they were able to travel freely. Many clients in the last two years of the
grant were people with disabilities coming out of corrections. Questions needed to
be asked regarding their conditions of parole. This information was needed to make
appropriate referrals to an apprenticeship program. Below is a chart reflecting the
disability category and the percentage of those served and employed in that
Type of Disability Percentage of
Learning Disability 39%
Alcohol and Substance Abuse 21%
Mental Illness in general ( Depression, PTSD, 14%
Bi-Polar Disorder 8%
Hearing Impaired 7%
Back and limb injuries 4%
Hepatitis B 3%
Cerebral Palsy 1%
Skin Disease (Sensitivity to sun) 1%
Multiple Disability (Of those above 18% had
multiple disabilities and the most prevalent was
chosen to report.)
This list is sorted in terms of the occupations chosen in descending order of their
placements. The average starting wage of all apprentices was $9.54 an hour. The
low starting wage was $5.60 an hour and the highest person hired was $28.00 an
hour for an experienced plumber re-entering the trade.
TRADE Percentage Average starting
placed in trade hourly wage
Electricians 32% $10.54
Painting and Allied Trades 15% $ 8.50
Plumbing and Pipefitting 10% $ 10.56
Heavy Equipment /Operating
Engineers 7% $ 9.54
Carpenter 7% $15.00
Plasterer/Cement Mason 6% $10.30
Fire Sprinkler Fitter 6% $ 9.17
Sheet Metal Worker 4% $10.30
Employment Specialist 1% $ 5.60
Certified Nurse Assistant 1% $ 6.00
In terms of efforts for sustainability after the grant is gone, the TRACE team has
promoted apprenticeship and hiring people with disabilities throughout the state
through a variety of media including print ads, newspaper articles, television spots
and public service announcements. Promoting apprenticeship widely has made
many more people aware of the benefits of apprenticeship, not only as an
employment option, but also as a training option. TRACE staff started a tradition
with apprenticeship programs to sponsor an annual apprenticeship conference for
the purpose of promoting apprenticeship, educating the public and apprenticeship
programs about workplace requirements, and building a broad network for
consumers of apprenticeships. We are assisting the conference committee with
initial steps and facilitation of the committee to allow them to take over the annual
conference in 2007. Logistics, information, contacts, and steps for preparing the
conference are already in the committee’s hands. We hope that we have
empowered apprenticeship programs to actively promote apprenticeship and
educate the public about apprenticeship.
The TRACE team has developed relationships with employers and the success of
our clients has opened the minds of our employers as to the broad range of
disabilities. They view disabilities differently and are not so afraid of the Americans
with Disabilities Act and its impact on the way that they go about their daily business.
An end of the year survey asked employers how their views about disability had
changed since working with the TRACE program. Here is a sampling of the quotes
from this survey:
“There are many types of disability, and they don’t all preclude someone from
working with the construction industry.”
“I saw that all individuals with disabilities just wanted to work and provide for
Themselves, and not have to depend on anyone else and the TRACE program
allowed that to happen.”
“A positive change.”
Other comments from employers included a response as to what they found most
helpful about their interaction with TRACE:
“The purchase of tools and whatever it took to get qualified individuals to work.”
“Outstanding response time to any issue.”
“The ability to assist a productive individual that may have fallen through the
“Without the referrals from the TRACE program, our business was in danger of
closing down for lack of applicants to fill the construction needs. Although we
have not hired all the applicants from the TRACE program, we have hired a
number of their clients.”
Counselors will have the tools necessary to continue to refer DVR clients to
apprenticeship programs. The DVR Counselor’s Manual was re-written to allow
DVR counselors to access apprenticeship programs on their own and to know where
to get current apprenticeship program lists of employers with their contact
information. The program is requesting that the agency web site post the materials
for other’s use. In addition, the State Library will have copies of the materials
produced by this grant.
O. Logistics-Establishing a Similar Program
There are several approaches to set up a similar program. It could be set up similar
to the TRACE program, or it could be done using the agency’s existing funding, but
incorporating an apprenticeship goal, as one for the agency to use. Funds can be
saved by a vocational rehabilitation agency, because the employer funds the training
component that might otherwise be funded through a vocational rehabilitation
agency. However, many agencies may not have the ability to re-allocate staff with
this goal in mind. If this is the case, than perhaps additional funding from grants
might be beneficial to set up a similar program.
The first step in setting up a similar program is to apply for legislative funds or seek a
grant with sufficient funds and duration to get the program underway. The TRACE
grant was funded for approximately $273,000 annually for a period of five years.
This funding supports two full time staff, one part time staff person, set-up and
promotional expenses, re-occurring costs, client services funds, and contractual
Another option might be through other rehabilitation providers or labor training funds,
such as Workforce Investment Act dollars. Apprenticeship is defined as an eligible
provider. Perhaps it could be funded as a “Ticket to Work” provider and people with
disabilities can elect to assign their “ticket” for that purpose.
Once sufficient funds are available staffing positions can take place. For the TRACE
program, considerations given for staffing were that the program manager be a
person with experience managing federal programs and federal funds. The
apprenticeship placement specialist was selected based on two criteria: knowledge
of rehabilitation and the agency and knowledge and or experience in vocational
education and/or apprenticeship. The program administrative assistant was already
on board, but would have been selected for computer skills, knowledge of financial
management and Department of Finance regulations, policies and procedures.
Contractors were selected for expertise in the areas for which they were hired
(apprenticeship development, evaluation, job profiling, marketing and supported
employment). The TRACE program was exceptionally fortunate to be able to hire as
contractors two individuals with excellent credentials. One contractor, Ruben
Dominguez retired as the former Deputy Director of the Bureau of Apprenticeship
and Training in Washington, DC. The other contractor, George Winters retired as
the State Apprenticeship Supervisor under the Apprenticeship Assistance Act. The
expertise of these two people was invaluable to the TRACE program.
Not every state will be this lucky, but there are resource people in each state who
can provide technical assistance and information. There are two regulation
agencies who oversee apprenticeship, but not every state has both agencies. The
two agencies are the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) and the State
Apprenticeship Council. One of the two agencies is identified as the registration
agency in a state.
The Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training oversees the national level of
apprenticeship and may have an employment representative who over sees that
state and perhaps several others. There is also a regional representative of the BAT
who may oversee 6-10 states. Every state has someone from the BAT to represent
state’s apprenticeship interests. In addition, the Bureau of Apprenticeship and
Training has a web site (www.doleta.gov) and toll free hotline (1-877-872-5627) to
answer questions about apprenticeship.
About 35 states and territories have what is known as the State Apprenticeship
Council. The council is part of a larger organization called NASTAD or National
Association of State and Territorial Apprenticeship Directors. NASTAD has a web
site that indicates which states are part of NASTAD and who the contact person in
each member state is.
In addition, there are several manuals that the TRACE program produced which will
give step by step information about how to develop an apprenticeship, as well as
forms for the daily administration of the apprenticeship program. These are
referenced in earlier sections of this manual. The TRACE program is leaving behind
these materials, manuals, flyers and basic forms, so that the program can be
replicated not only in the state of New Mexico, but in other states as well. These
resources are listed in the second section of this manual, under “Materials Produced
P. What’s In It for Me? A Clients Prospective, Counselor Reflections
In summary, we need to consider how this program has impacted DVR clients. It
has provided them with a no-cost training program that yields a credential that is
accepted in all 50 states and territories. In addition, clients were on the job earning
a wage from the beginning that paid substantially more than minimum wage. They
received benefits, a pension plan, and in some instances started their first real
savings plan. More importantly, clients learned more about themselves and what
they wanted out of life with a plan for a career that would produce regularly
ascending wages. For many of our clients, it was a chance for someone to believe
in them and invest in their future. The most surprising outcome of this program was
that we were very successful in placing ex-felons with disabilities in apprenticeship
programs. We had anticipated that it would be difficult, but that did not happen to be
the case. Many of them reported filling out as many as 60 applications without
success before coming to the TRACE program for help. We encouraged them to be
prepared to discuss their felony conviction with complete honesty, but not to dwell on
it. Instead, we assisted them to discuss their skills, abilities, and interests in the job.
We provided them with information about each of the programs and guided them to
ones that would most likely allow them to maintain the conditions of their parole. For
most, it was a matter of assisting them to seek employment in programs that would
have the most likelihood of keeping them within a 70 mile radius of their home
location and would allow them to return home in the evenings. After we assisted the
first three in successful placements, the numbers grew for this population. One of
our placements spread information about our program to many people, but he also
said to them, “If you are serious about working and getting your life together, go see
the people at the TRACE program. If you are not, don’t waste their time.” This
allowed some screening in an informal way. We did find that many of his referrals
were both appropriate to getting vocational rehabilitation services and appropriate to
The following comments are ones received in an end of the year survey of DVR
clients about their experience with the TRACE program:
“Great program, assisted me in obtaining training for a stable, good-paying job
with a good future. Thanks!”
“DVR helped me with tools and made it possible for me to work in an
“I have only been involved with DVR TRACE for 2 months, but feel that I have
accomplished a great deal. Thank you.”
“ Suzette really was very helpful. She’s got me so excited about my goals. Just
know that there’s sincere programs like the TRACE program out there to help
people like me reach a whole new life, is beyond my expression! My sincerest
gratitude to you all and Suzette!”
“Grateful for all the help and information, very good program.”
“I received the utmost respect, honesty, sincerity in the help that I received from
Carmen.” (This comment came from an ex-felon with bi-polar disorder who
turned his life around.)
For employers, they received screened referrals to apply for their programs. The
applicants were ones who had a vested interest in their particular training program
and that occupation. TRACE clients came to programs with information about the
program and who had done some educated thinking about whether the program was
for them. In addition, the TRACE program provided tools, safety equipment, books,
union dues and a support system that would assist with other items for a client to be
For DVR Counselors, the TRACE program provided vocational counseling for their
clients, information about employers and how apprenticeship works, a process to
screen for the best job match, and additional financial supports to the client. In
general, apprenticeship programs were beneficial to DVR counselors because they
allow for earlier closures. This happens because the individual is working during the
time that they are training, so there are no long delays to complete schools before
getting hired and drawing a wage. Additionally, the training costs are paid by the
Generally, there are some real advantages for all involved. When there is a good
job match between the client and the apprenticeship, it is a win-win situation.
Q. Success Stories
Tom’s Story-Tom came to DVR after serving his term in prison. He had been discouraged
about many aspects of his life, his current relationships, and discouraged that he might
continue with the life that had brought him to the prison environment in the first place. Tom
found compassion, interest and concern from the DVR Counselor who assisted him with
eligibility and developing a work plan. Tom was depressed and did not see a happy future for
himself, but he felt that there had to be something better out there for him. Although Tom
could have continued to draw Social Security Disability, he wanted to work. Tom had many
skills that would be valuable to an employer. He had worked in businesses where he learned
about assembly, electrical systems, generators, alternators, automotive body-work and had
even operated his own business at one time.
His counselor arranged for him to meet with TRACE program staff, who assisted him with
information about different kinds of apprenticeships. He knew that he was interested in the
electricians, partly because he understood many concepts, but also because it offered a good
future for him. With that information in hand, he applied for apprenticeship programs where
he could remain in an area within 70 miles of his home, one of the conditions of his parole.
He stayed in contact with the TRACE staff about his progress and was starting to become
discouraged when after 3 months, he had not landed a job, but still he continued to contact an
employer he most wanted to work for on a weekly basis. When the job offer came, he was
like a child at Christmas. He was glowing from ear to ear, with a smile that just would not
wipe off his face. He said, “I think that they hired me because they got tired of me calling all
the time.” The employer did let him know that he was hired because of his skills.
He was hired at $9.71 an hour to start. As of June 2006 he is currently earning $11.73. He is
also very proud of his academic progress as well. He stated that he has the highest GPA of
the apprentices in his class. He was recently recruited by another company promising to hire
him at $17.95 an hour as a journeyman. However, he declined the invitation because he felt
in the long run that he wanted to know as much as possible and that he would be cheating
himself to stop short of his journeyman goal with all the training. At the end of his training,
he can expect to be earning approximately $22-$28 dollars as a journeyman. If he chooses to
go further, he can become a foreman or eventually a Superintendent on a work site for
approximately $76,000 a year.
The TRACE bought him tools to use on the job and the DVR Counselor provided him with
clothing and work boots. He was so excited that he came by to visit after work almost
everyday, because he was so happy about working. In the first week, he completed all the
work required for the week in a day and a half and then went back to the boss for more work
to do. He was so excited about having a job that he even would forget to take a lunch break.
As a follow-up to this story, his employer is very happy with his performance on the job and
he is doing well in the related instruction, so well that he has the highest GPA in the class.
When end of program surveys were sent to clients, he responded that he wanted to visit in
person about how he felt about the program. It was with tears in his eyes that he told us how
much he appreciated the encouragement and treatment by the TRACE staff.
Dan was referred to DVR through another client. He was recently released from prison after
serving 10 years. He was very outgoing, personable, and easy to talk to. He was filling out
the application for the TRACE program, which asked about any felony convictions. He
stopped at this point, looked up and said, “Yes, I committed a felony, but I am not telling you
what.” I let him know that would be fine, I only needed to know to let him know about Work
Opportunities Tax Credits and the Federal Bonding Program. We talked about the programs
and he continued to fill out the application. We talked about his past work experience,
apprenticeship in general and his interests. I asked if he had any restrictions on travel based
on his parole and he indicated that he did. So with that information, we reviewed the
possible programs that he might apply to. In the middle of the conversation, he interjected,
“I just want you to know that it was not a violent crime.” I said ok and continued with the
interview/vocational counseling session. By the end of the time he discussed his crime and
that he had been on the run for a full year before he was caught. It was a real life, “Catch me
if You Can” story.
Dan left the interview with information in hand and proceeded to apply and interview for
apprenticeship programs. He was quickly hired by one of the programs as an advanced
apprentice. The TRACE program provided him tools, work clothing, and safety equipment.
He started at $13.75 an hour. He demonstrated to the employer that he was skilled in the
trade and quickly advanced. By the third month on the job, he was leading a team of
workers. At this point, he required more advanced tools to keep up with his new
responsibilities. His interpersonal skills quickly earned the respect of his co-workers and he
was voted to be a trainer. This allowed him to earn some additional money. He was highly
motivated and also started a side business of his own. He feels that his future is important
and that he has to work harder to have assets that he will need in retirement. He continues to
stay in touch with the TRACE program staff and to send appropriate referrals in need of our
With this and other success stories in our memory bank, we will leave the TRACE program
feeling that we have made an impact and accomplished much for our clients. The money
invested by the federal grant that we operated under was money well-spent. We hope that we
have left a legacy that will not be forgotten and that will allow persons with disabilities to
achieve goals that provide a viable career option and a real future for them and their families.
Program Resources and Useful
Section II- Program Resources and Useful Information
Attachment A -TRACE Program Flyer 24
Attachment B -TRACE Employer Flyer 27
Attachment C-Here is What They Do 30
Attachment D-Learn a Trade 32
Attachment E-How to Apply for an Apprenticeship Position 33
Attachment F -Client Brief Sheet 35
Attachment G -Confidentiality Release 37
Attachment H -Equipment Release Forms 38
Attachment I-Apprenticeship Guide to Employer Requirements 40
Attachment J-Web Based Employment Resources 42
Attachment K-Materials Produced by TRACE 44
Apprenticeships serve employers by providing targeted training to meet industries needs.
Training and course time are specifically designed to provide training that the employee
and employer needs most.
This type of training program is actually a job and you get paid while on the job.
Apprenticeships are nationally recognized programs recognized in all fifty states.
So What’s An Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a combination of on the job training and classroom theory that allows
a person to learn and work at the same time while getting paid. Each apprenticeship must
provide at least 2000 hours of on the job training and 144 hours of classroom instruction
for each year of the apprenticeship. This amounts to about four hours of class per week.
Traditionally, most apprenticeships have been in the trades. However, there are over 865
nationally recognized apprenticeships representing a wide range of occupations along with
new apprenticeships being developed.
How Do I Get Involved?
Each person working with TRACE must be eligible for DVR services. So, you must apply for
After speaking with a counselor and eligibility is determined, you and your counselor
prepare an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) which include services to help you achieve
your vocational goals which may include but are not limited to: tools, work clothes,
equipment, tutoring, interpreters (sign, Spanish, Native American Languages), Braille, note
takers, test adaptations, adaptive technology, transportation expense, counseling, and
follow along. The services provided will be determined by the vocation you choose and the
services you need to achieve that vocation.
When Can I Get Started?
After you complete high school or obtain a GED, you may choose to apply for an
apprenticeship in an area of work you enjoy. The application process includes the
application itself, an interview with the employer, and an evaluation. In some cases you
may be placed on a waiting list.
If you are still in school for a year or two, you may be able to take pre-apprenticeship or
vocational classes at your school. These classes provide information that would be helpful
to you when you enter into an apprenticeship.
Some apprenticeship programs have course work taught in schools during the junior and
senior years. These types of courses are not available everywhere and must be
coordinated by your school district and the particular program in which you are interested.
TRACE Program Overview
TRACE is a federally funded 5 year grant designed to increase accessibility to and
participation in apprenticeship programs by individuals with disabilities through the DVR
TRACE is a statewide DVR grant program that provides services working through local
DVR offices. TRACE provides assistance to DVR clients in identifying employers, assisting
with job applications, and limited funding of services.
DVR will coordinate services through various area and satellite offices providing services
in these areas.
TRACE is a five year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. In the past,
opportunities for people with disabilities to enter apprenticeships were limited. This
program was designed to provide different approaches to help people with disabilities
enter existing apprenticeship employment opportunities as well as to develop new more
appropriate apprenticeship programs.
TRACE program staff work with DVR Counselors to assist you in achieving your
This publication of the Transition into Registered Apprenticeship (TRACE) is funded in through the State
Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, under a grant with the U.S. Department of
Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. This publication does not necessarily
reflect their views and no official endorsement is inferred.
All Activities of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are conducted without regard to race, color, creed,
religion, gender, age, national origin, or type of disability.
TRACE offices are located at the
Albuquerque at the TVI Workforce Training Center
5600 Eagle Rock Ave, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
Learn a Trade
While Getting Paid!!
What is TRACE
TRACE is a five year federally funded grant designed to help people with disabilities to
enter existing apprenticeship employment opportunities as well as to develop new
TRACE staff includes a program manager, apprenticeship placement specialist, secretary,
three contractors to develop new apprenticeships, an evaluator, and a specialist in job
How Can the TRACE Program Assist Employers?
The TRACE staff can assist employers by promoting opportunities in apprenticeship
throughout the state.
TRACE staff place announcements about apprenticeship openings in a statewide email to
target job seekers.
TRACE staff promotes apprenticeship at conferences, job fairs and through contacts with
TRACE staff work with the schools to educate staff and students about apprenticeship as
an option after graduation.
TRACE staff is available to explain their services to employers.
Existing Apprenticeship, who is a viable candidate?
Willing and able to perform the essential functions of the job
Possess a High School Diploma or GED
Able to lift 50-100 pounds
Good math and communication skills
Pass a written test and drug screen
Good Work Ethic and Attendance
Drivers License/Reliable transportation
Future Apprenticeship Development
As new apprenticeships are developed with employers, the new apprenticeships will reflect
changing national trends of apprenticeships in a wide variety of occupations.
Through the new apprenticeships, we hope to expand accessibility and opportunities in
apprenticeship for all populations.
How can TRACE Staff Assist Job Seekers?
Job seekers can speak with TRACE staff regarding their interest and abilities in
TRACE can assist eligible job seekers with a variety of items needed to succeed in the
apprenticeship. Examples of these may include tools, work clothes, tuition assistance,
equipment, tutoring, interpreters, note takers, test adaptations, adaptive technology,
transportation expense, and counseling. Services provided will be determined on an
Each person eligible for benefits under TRACE must be eligible for DVR services and
have an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) with resources needed to achieve vocational
goals. TRACE program staff work with DVR Counselors in supporting the job seeker’s
This publication of Transition into Registered Apprenticeship (TRACE) is funded in through the
State Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, under a grant with the U.S.
Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. This publication
does not necessarily reflect their views and no official endorsement is inferred.
All Activities of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are conducted without regard to race,
color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, or type of disability.
TRACE offices are located at the
TVI Workforce Training Center
5600 Eagle Rock Ave, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
Carmen Taylor, Program Manager
Suzette Sandoval, Apprenticeship Placement Specialist
Tracy Alcaraz, Administrative Assistant
HERE IS WHAT THEY DO
Bricklayer - Constructs walls, fireplaces, chimneys and other structures from block, brick, tile, glass, gypsum and
Carpenter - Possess skills to perform work which is basic to most building construction. They construct forms for
concrete, erect partitions, studs, joints, drywall, rafters and also install indoor types of work such as: floor coverings,
ceilings, paneling, etc.
Certified Nurse Assistant-Assists people with disabilities, the elderly and those with medical conditions to eat,
dress, or move about. Works in nursing homes, assisted living, and in home care.
Cement Mason- Set up frames, mix and pour concrete, form the foundation used in construction, create different
textures, apply various finishes to concrete.
Electrician – Electricians lay out, install and test electrical service and electrical wire systems used to provide
heat, light, power, air conditioning and refrigeration in home, factories, offices, schools and hospitals.
Fire Sprinkler Fitter - Sprinkler fitters build the fire sprinkler system by fitting the pipes into place, adjusting
thermostats to turn on the fire sprinklers at certain temperatures.
Drywall Applicator – Applies drywall to framed spaces. Also performs wood and metal stud framing.
Glazier – A glazier is responsible for the sizing, cutting, fitting and setting glass products into openings of all
Heavy Equipment Operator – Operate and maintain powerful equipment like: bulldozers, backhoes,
earthmovers, large power shovels and cranes. Learns basics of diesel mechanics and mechanical repairs.
Iron Worker – Erect the steel framework of large industrial, commercial or residential buildings, bridges and
metal tanks. Bolts, rivets or welds structural metal members that support the structure during and after
Job Coach- Works with job seekers to teach job seeking skills and to assist clients to learn the job on the job
Laborer – Duties include handling the materials of bricklayers, cement masons and carpenters, working with
power tools and clearing timber and brush, landscaping, and doing a variety of jobs.
Painter – Includes the preparation of surfaces and the application of paint, varnish, enamel, lacquer and
similar materials to wood, metal or masonry buildings. Painters may apply the paint with a brush, a spray
gun, or roller.
Pipefitter – Assemble, install and maintain pipes to carry liquids, steam, compressed air, gasses and fluids
needed for processing, manufacturing, heating and cooling. Includes pipe welding, bending and threading
Plumber – They install, repair and alter pipe systems, which carry gasses, water and other liquids required for
sanitation, storm water, industrial production and other uses. They install plumbing fixtures, appliances,
bathtubs, basins, sinks, showers and grease line systems.
Roofer – They apply built-up composition roofing and many other materials such as tile, slate, composition
shingles, metals, various types of plastic materials and other building surfaces. Roofers also remove old
materials in preparation for new roofing materials.
Sheet Metal Worker – They work from sketches, blueprints or verbal instructions to make the heating, air
conditions and ventilation systems for buildings from sheets of steel, aluminum, copper and other materials.
Learn a Trade
While Getting Paid!
The Construction Industry
Building an Education, a Career and a Future
The chart listed below compares average beginning journeyman wages with average beginning salaries for
occupations that require a Bachelor’s degree. Apprenticeship programs offer an excellent career opportunity
that is very comparable in pay to many occupations held by people who have a Bachelor’s degree.
Trades Salaries VS Degreed Salaries
The Trades Admin/Professional
NM Skilled /Hourly Rate NM BA/BS Entry /Hourly Rate
Bricklayers $18.68 Accountant $13.88
Carpenters $16.99 Civil Engineer $20.22
Cement Masons $14.17 Programmer $16.43
Electricians $20.69 Controller $17.25
Glaziers $18.15 Database Administrator $14.15
Ironworkers $17.91 Forester $14.92
Painters $13.93 Foreman $12.44
Pipe fitters $20.82 Marketing/Analyst $14.93
Plasterers $16.45 Probation Officer $12.01
Plumbers $20.82 Public Relations $12.94
Roofers $13.78 Social Worker $10.19
Sheet Metal $17.69 Soc. Service. Mgr. $13.68
Operating Engineers $18.10 Surveyors $10.22
Heavy Equipment $18.71
State Figures for 2004, third quarter, New Mexico Wage Survey DOL Information. This
is statewide averages and may be higher or lower in registered apprenticeship
TRANSITION into REGISTERED APPRENTICESHIP
CAREERS and EMPLOYMENT
Carmen Taylor, Program Manager
Toll Free 866/212-1638
Apprenticeship Placement Specialist
What Do I Need to Know
for an Apprenticeship Position?
TRACE Apprenticeship Program
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
5600 Eagle Rock Rd., NE-Albuquerque, NM
1-866-212-1638 1-505-798-0443 1-505-798-0482
How do I know what Apprenticeship is right for me?
It is a good idea to look at what your skills and abilities are. It is also important to ask yourself
the following questions:
1. Do I like to work outdoors in all kinds of weather?
2. Do I already have some skills that I could use in the job?
3. Am I willing to start at the bottom and work my way up?
4. Would I like to make a career in this occupation?
5. Am I willing and able to show up for work on time and give the employer a full day’s
work for a full day’s pay?
6. Am I willing to dedicate about 4-6 hours a week to attending classes?
7. How many years am I willing to study to complete an apprenticeship?
8. Do I meet the basic requirements for this job? (Age 18+, GED, High School Diploma,
Drivers license, drug free)
What questions should I ask an employer?
1. What are the requirements of applicants for this job?
2. How old must an applicant be?
3. Does it require a GED or High School Diploma?
4. Must I have a drivers license to apply?
5. How long does it take to get from apprentice to journeyman level?
6. How does this apprenticeship program deliver the related instruction? Is it through a
training school at the place of work, or is the training given through a community
college or other school?
7. Is this program a union or a non-union program?
8. Where will I work during the period of my apprenticeship? Will I work locally in the
area where the business is, or will I be working at many locations throughout the
What is the Process to Apply for an Apprenticeship?
In an apprenticeship program, you may be applying for only one employer, or the apprenticeship
office may take applications for a large number of employers. Many apprenticeship programs
represent multiple employers, so you application may be available to 15 or more employers
depending on where you apply.
Applying for an Apprenticeship position is the same as applying for any job. However,
employers are investing time and money in the employee, to have a highly trained expert in the
trade for which the applicant applies. You will fill out an application at the apprenticeship office
listed on the list of registered apprenticeships. At that time you may be asked to go through an
interview, or it may be scheduled at a later date. The employer will ask for a number of
documents to verify that you meet the minimum qualifications to apply for that apprenticeship
program. In addition, you may be required to take a test. This test may be one the employer
designs or may be a standardized test. If you meet the qualifications, you will be put on a list.
This list does not guarantee employment.
Some employers accept applications year round, while others only accept applications at certain
times when there are new jobs opening up. Applications are ranked according to the most
qualified to the least qualified. When openings occur, they will be given out to the most qualified
first then on down the list.
It is also important to know when the employer accepts applications. Sometimes there is a day
of the week and certain hours. You can call ahead to see when these times are, or refer to the
list of apprenticeship programs. You should also check to see if an application fee is required to
apply for the program. Remember that courtesy goes a long way in applying for a job. Call
ahead and get information about when it is convenient to go to apply for the job.
What Should I Take to a Job Interview?
3 letters of recommendation
Copy of Driver’s license
Social Security Card
Names, addresses and phone numbers of employers, plus the dates of employment.
Application fee if one is required.
List of business and personal references.
Tips for filling out an Application
1. Come prepared with the information that you will need to fill out the application. Bring an
ink pen and pencil.
2. If there is a specific time to apply, arrive on time. It is a good idea to plan to arrive 5-10
minutes ahead of the time.
3. Practice filling out an application ahead of time, so that you are confident about any
questions you may have.
4. Answer every question. If you are not sure what is asked for, ask the employer for
5. Write neatly, so that you information can be read easily. Remember your application is
the first impression. You will want to make it a good one.
6. Bring a list of people you will use as references. Include in this list their name, address,
phone number, and your relationship to them (boss, co-worker, teacher, personal friend.)
You should bring at least 3 business references and 2-3 personal references.
CLIENT INFORMATION SHEET
Personal Information Date ______________________
Name: __________________________________ Phone: _________________________
Address: ________________________ City: ____________________ Zip: _______
SSN #: _____________________ Age ______ Date of Birth: _______ Sex (M/F)
___ Race: White ______ Black ______ Native American ______ Asian ______
Are you of Hispanic origin? Yes ______ No ______
What is your disability? _________________________________________________
How does your disability keep you from working? _________________________
How can DVR help you to achieve your employment goal?
Are You Presently Working: Yes ____ No ____
Employer Start/End Date Job Title Wages Reason for Leaving
Email Address ______________________________
Public Support Status
SSI ________ SSI Aged _____ SSI Disabled _____ SSDI _____ VA _____ TANF _____
General Assistance _____ Food Stamps _____________Other ______________________________
DOL _____ WIA _____ Others _________________________________________________________
Education and Training
HS Diploma _____ GED _____
Other Education, Formal Training or On-The-Job Training:
Transition (High School Students)
Current Grade Level: ________________
Current School: __________________________Currently in Special Education? Yes ____ No _____
Who referred you to DVR/TRACE? _____________________________________________________________
Have you ever been a DVR client? Yes ____ No ____ If yes, when: ____________________________
Do you require an accommodation such as an interpreter to attend DVR appointments? Yes ____ No____
If yes, explain: ________________________________________________________________________________
Marital Status: _____________ How many dependents? _______
Have you had any problems with drugs or alcohol? Yes ____ No ____ If yes, explain: ___________________
Have you had any legal problems/convicted of a felony? Yes ____ No ____ If yes, explain: _______________
Please name two people that know you and can contact you:
Name and Address Relationship Phone Number
For Office Use Only
Date Received: _______________
Action Taken or Referrals Made:
DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
TRACE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
AUTHORIZATION TO RELEASE/REQUEST INFORMATION
Request for Information
I hereby authorize_____________________________to release those records checked in Part III
to the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation TRACE Apprenticeship Program located
TVI Workforce Training Center
5600 Eaglerock Avenue, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87113
(Rooms 124 and 125)
I understand that these documents will be used in relation to my rehabilitation program, will be
held confidential, and will not be released to any other individual or agency except by court order.
Release of DVR TRACE Apprenticeship Information
I hereby authorize the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to release those DVR
records checked in Part III to:
______________________________________________for the purpose of
______________________________________________I understand these records may contain
information regarding any treatment for drug or alcohol abuse and medical information I
understand that this information will not be further released without my written consent, except by
Items to be released-Please circle all that apply
Eligibility determination School Records or Transcripts
IPE Apprenticeship Agreement
Medical Information Apprenticeship Training Plan
Laboratory reports Treatment and Progress notes, including
Psychological Information (Mental Health) diagnosis and prognosis
Progress or contact notes For improvement relevant to employment
Financial Information Other, list:_________________________
IEP from schools _________________________________
Judgment & Sentencing Order _________________________________
This release may be used (check one)
Only once_______ as needed, but may be revoked at any time. __________
Client Signature Date
TRACE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
NEW MEXICO DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
RECEIPT OF EQUIPMENT AGREEMENT
Each item below has been issued to the client for his/her use in a related apprenticeship
program or employment site. If the client is successfully employed for the full 90 days or more,
the items below will be released to the client for use in employment. If not, the items will revert
back to TRACE with the condition noted on this form. E=Excellent; G=Good, F=Fair, P=Poor.
Sample releases and repossession forms are attached.
Quantity Item name Description Cost Cost Condition
Total All items ________________
I_____________________________________have received the equipment, supplies, or tools
listed above and agree to use these items in accordance with my IPE to keep the items in good
repair and to notify the TRACE program and my DVR counselor of any changes in my address,
and to report to TRACE any theft, loss or damage to the items. I understand that these items
are the property of the TRACE program until I have successfully completed at least 90 days of
employment in the apprenticeship program for which the items were purchased. If I should not
complete the 90days in the program for which the items were purchased, I will return these
items to the TRACE program.
I understand that these items are TRACE-DVR property and that I have no right to sell, trade,
mortgage, hock, loan, donate or in any other way dispose of the items until I receive a signed
release of title from DVR that I can keep the items. I will return any items that no longer needed
or used if I should not continue in employment for the full 90 days.
Client Signature Date TRACE Staff signature Date
TRACE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
NEW MEXICO DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
Receipt of Equipment Agreement/ Release or Return
Section II-Equipment Release Form
Note- This section will be completed at time of transfer to the client. The items listed in Section
I are hereby released to (Client)
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation relinquishes all rights, title and interest to these items.
TRACE staff Date Client Date
Note: If in the future, you discontinue using tools or equipment, the agency would appreciate
your returning these items to TRACE-DVR. Someone else may be in need of such equipment.
Section III-Equipment Return Form
The items listed and checked accordingly in Section I have been returned to DVR TRACE.
________________________________ (client) is hereby relieved of any obligation under
Section I except as noted below. I certify that these items are now under my control and
physically located at_________________________________________.
Exceptions and Comments: __________________________________________________
TRACE Staff Signature Date
TRACE Apprenticeship Program
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Apprenticeship Information Employer Requirements
Apprenticeship is a time-honored system of training, which has been used for many vocations. The system started in
the Middle Ages, when those who were being prepared for a trade were indentured to a master for a period of years,
during which time; the master taught him the skills of the trade.
When the apprentice attained a competency in all aspects of the trade, he was released from the instruction of the
master and became a “journeyman”. As a journeyman, he was free to travel on his own and apply his trade
wherever he could.
During the twentieth century, the apprenticeship community has expanded to over 800 occupations training through
apprenticeship. All applicants for training are treated equally. Apprentices are selected on the basis of merit and
qualification regardless of sex, race, creed or national origin.
Apprenticeship, in the simplest terms, is training in occupations that require a wide and diverse range of skills and
knowledge, as well as maturity and independent judgment. It involves planned, day-by-day on the job training under
proper supervision, combined with related technical instruction.
Apprenticeship is a combination of on the job training and related classroom instruction wherein workers learn the
practical and theoretical aspects of their chosen occupation.
Through agreed set of training standards, an apprentice is an employee and receives supervised, structured on the
job training combined with related technical instruction.
ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING (OJT): On the Job Training is the learning of each work process by carrying it out step by
step under the close supervision of a skilled craft worker. Every apprentice participating in a registered
apprenticeship program enters into an Apprenticeship Agreement. The apprenticeship program sponsor and the
apprentice agree to the terms of the Apprenticeship Standards incorporated as part of the Agreement.
On-the-job training consists of actual work experience with structured supervision by a master of the trade. The on-
the-job component consists of at least 2,000 hours of paid work experience, depending on the occupation. The
supervisor reviews, evaluates and maintains records relating to the apprentice's job performance. Actual training
elements for this work experience are outlined in the Apprenticeship Standards.
RELATED TRAINING: Related instruction is a required component of an apprenticeship program, which supplements
the on-the-job training. A minimum of 144 hours per year, for each year of training, is required for each occupation.
The related instruction may be given in a classroom, through trade, industrial or correspondence courses of
equivalent value, or other forms of self-study approved by the registration/approval agency.
Subjects covered in the related training can be mathematics, blueprint reading, applied English, safety, and other
technical courses needed for the specific occupation, and it is customarily taken outside working hours. Some
registered apprenticeship programs also have dual accreditation through post-secondary institutions, which apply
credit for apprenticeship completion towards an Associate Degree.
Related instruction is the theoretical component of the occupation that when matched with the practical application of
the job that provides the apprentice with the knowledge to apply the learned skills. It is this part of the training that
helps an apprentice „master‟ the trade.
WAGES: Upon entry into the apprenticeship program, apprentice(s) are paid a progressively increasing schedule of
wages. As the apprentice(s) demonstrate satisfactory progress in both the on-the-job training and related instruction,
they are advanced in accordance with the wage schedule as outlined in the registered Apprenticeship Standards.
Wages paid the apprentice begin at approximately half those of the fully trained journeyman and usually advance at
six month intervals until the apprentice completes the training. Upon completion of the training, the apprentice is
considered a journeyman or journey worker and is paid the full wage.
THE APPRENTICE: The apprentice is usually a high school graduate, of legal working age, with manual dexterity
and other characteristics directly related to the apprenticeable occupation to be learned. Length of training varies
depending on the occupation and is determined by standards adopted by the industry. Minimum term of
apprenticeship is one year. Other hiring requirements can include a valid driver‟s license, reliable transportation,
passing a math test, and a drug screen.
THE JOURNEYMAN OR JOURNEYWORKER: The term „journeyman‟ is the status a person achieves upon
completing a one to four year (2,000 hours to 8,000 hours) apprenticeship. It is the recognition that a person has
achieved mastery in all aspects of his or her trade. The worker receives an Apprenticeship Completion Certificate
and is recognized as a qualified journeyman/journey worker nationwide.
This Certificate is one of the oldest, most basic, and most highly portable industry credentials in use today. A
federally approved State Apprenticeship Council or Agency issues the Certificate or, in those States not having
such an agency, by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.
PURPOSE OF APPRENTICESHIPS: The purpose of apprenticeship programs is to stimulate and assist industry in
developing and improving apprenticeship and other training programs designed to provide the skilled workers needed
to compete in a global economy.
PROGRAM SPONSORS: An employer, a group of employers, or a union may sponsor Apprenticeship programs.
(Often employers and unions form joint apprenticeship committees, which determine industry needs for particular
skills, the kind of training required, and set the standards for acceptance into the programs.)
ELIGIBILITY AS A SPONSOR: Employer applicants include employers or an association of employers with or without
the participation of labor unions.
ELIGIBILITY OF AN APPLICANT: Individual applicants for apprenticeship programs must be at least 16 years old
and meet the program sponsor's qualifications. Generally, applicants must satisfy the sponsor that they have the
ability, aptitude, and education to master the rudiments of the occupation and complete the related instruction
required in the program.
ESTABLISHING AN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM: Prospective employers work with BAT or SAC field
representatives to develop a set of apprenticeship training standards which include the on-the-job training outline,
related classroom instruction curriculum and the apprenticeship program operating procedures. The program will be
registered if it meets Federal requirements.
BUREAU OF APPRENTICESHIP AND TRAINING: The Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) registers
apprenticeship programs and apprentices in 23 States and assists and oversees State Apprenticeship Councils
(SAC’s), which perform these functions in 27 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Government's role is to, first, safeguard the welfare of apprentices, second, ensure the quality and equality of access
of apprenticeship programs, and third, provide integrated employment and training information to sponsors and the
local employment and training community.
Web Based Employment and Resources
A wide of related resources are available to the disabled job seeker. We hope that
these links will be useful to you in a successful job search.
For information on the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation:
For information on the New Mexico Department of Education—
For information on Apprenticeship:
New Mexico Department of Labor- http://www.dol.state.nm.us
US Department of Labor Employment and Training--
US Department of Labor
DOLETA-Dept. of Labor Employment, Training and Apprenticeships
For information on Rehabilitation Services:
Disability Site links that focus on ability—http://ability.org.us/dis-site.html
Untangling the Web-A comprehensive list of Disability Related sites—
Disability related Resources on the Web-Links to the ARC in states plus additional links
to disability related information sources—http://www.prostar.com%7Ethe.arc/dislink.htm
Disability and Rehabilitation Internet Services NARIC’s page with over 600 internet
resources related to disability—http://wwwnaric.com/naric/bookmark/index.html
For information on employment and job searches:
New Mexico Department of Labor-http://www.dol.state.nm.us/
A Virtual Job Fair- http://www.careerexpo.com
America’s Job Bank-http://www.ajb.dni.us
Career Resource Center—http://www. career.org/
Careers and Jobs—http://www.starthere.com/jobs/
City of Albuquerque—http://www.cabq.gov/hrd/index.html
Education and Career Center—http://www.petersons.com
Los Alamos National Lab—http://lanl.gov/worldview/
National Business Employment—http://www.nbew.com/
Nation Job Network—httl://www.nationjob.com
NM Education Employment—http://www.newmexicoeducationjobs.com
NM State Personnel Job List—http://www.state.nm.us/spo.recruit.htm
Sandia National Labs—http://www.sandia.gov/
The Riley Guide—http://www.dbm.com.jobguide
University of NM—http://www. unm.edu/
Materials Produced by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
TRACE Apprenticeship Program
How to Develop an Apprenticeship-Manual
Describes what apprenticeship is, outlines its history, provides guidelines for
establishing new apprenticeships, and contains state and federal legislation that guides
apprenticeship program development and maintenance.
The TRACE Experience-Manual
Describes the DVR TRACE Apprenticeship program, outlines how it was set-up,
implemented, lessons learned, forms and guidelines for replicating such a program.
TRACE Program staff were instrumental in overcoming the stereotypes that employers
have about hiring a person with a disability. People with disabilities were placed in
existing and new apprenticeships and new non-traditional apprenticeships were
TRACE Counselors Manual
Describes what apprenticeship is, how rehabilitation counselors can use apprenticeship
as an employment and training tool for their client, sets up guidelines for
communication, forms and sample tests are included.
TRACE Accommodations Manual
Outlines disability issues, discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act and its
requirements, and discusses accommodations that can be used in the workplace to
assist clients with disabilities.
FLYERS AND HANDOUTS
All flyers, handouts, and forms are available in Spanish and English
Transition into Registered Apprenticeship, Careers, and Employment- A tri-fold
flyer that describes Apprenticeships, the DVR TRACE Apprenticeship Program and
disabled job seekers can use their services.
Employer’s Guide-A tri-fold flyer that describes what the TRACE program is, how it
can assist employers and job seekers
Here is What They Do-A handout designed to describe briefly what each occupation
does and how much that occupation will pay at journeyman status.
What Do I Need to Know to Apply for an Apprenticeship Program-Handout that
goes through the counseling process for a client including: How do I know that
Apprenticeship is for me? What questions should I ask an Employer? What is the
Process to Apply for an Apprenticeship? What Should I Take to a Job Interview? Tips
for filling out an application
FORMS AND APPLICATIONS- All are available in English and Spanish
Client Brief Sheet
**Many of these publications are available individually; especially manuals, but flyers,
handouts and forms are also included in The TRACE Experience and some in the
TRACE Counselor’s Manual.