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Delaware Department of Labor Announces New Apprenticeship Pathway to College Credit at WilmU for Delaware’s Vocational Workforce

A heard hat, blueprints and tools atop of a workbench.

The Delaware Department of Labor (DOL) and Wilmington University jointly announced the new Smart Transfer Enrollment Program (STEP Path™) for the Vocational Workforce, a new initiative that will allow individuals in select registered apprenticeship programs the opportunity to earn up to 42 college credits* toward a bachelor’s degree at Wilmington University.

This new program creates a unique pathway for Delaware apprenticeship graduates to apply their vocational time and experience toward college credit without having to start over. It applies to high school graduates who are just beginning a registered apprenticeship program, those already active in a registered apprenticeship, those with past apprenticeships in a registered program, and journey people who seek the career benefits of a college degree. The program is relevant for all past and current apprenticeship graduates. The academic credits earned may also be applied to additional WilmU programs that relate to technical instruction and apprenticeship programs.  

“We are excited to partner with Wilmington University on this important educational initiative,” says DOL Secretary Karryl Hubbard. “The STEP Path** program is a great way to allow those who chose to obtain training through apprenticeship an opportunity to also obtain college credits towards a degree.”

Higher education can lead to promotions and higher income, both of which are strong incentives for those actively participating in apprenticeship programs. Employers can leverage this opportunity with employees to help retain existing talent. Existing journey persons can take advantage of this program by applying to WilmU, where their experience and job training will be evaluated to determine the appropriate level of academic credit – and cost savings – toward a career-relevant degree.

“The STEP Path program is a great way to allow those who chose to obtain training through apprenticeship an opportunity to also obtain college credits towards a degree.”

– Delaware Department of Labor Secretary, Karryl Hubbard

“Partnering with the Delaware Department of Labor for the STEP Path™ for the Vocational Workforce program aligns with our commitment to preparing diverse students to succeed in high-demand, trade-oriented careers,” says Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon. “We look forward to welcoming high school and vocational-technical students, as well as adults navigating their apprenticeship journeys.”

High school and vocational-technical students who are considering a DOL-registered apprenticeship program after graduation can talk with their school counselors for details and reach out to the Department of Labor regarding apprenticeship programs. Adults who are looking to start or finish an apprenticeship may also contact the Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship. 

“Registered apprenticeship programs are vital to the expansion of opportunities for young people to pursue careers in the building trades and other industries,” said Jazelle Plummer, Apprenticeship & Training Manager for DOL’s Division of Employment Training.” 

To view an introductory video and learn more about the new STEP Path for the Vocational Workforce, visit www.wilmu.edu/trades or www.labor.delaware.gov/apprenticeship 

*This is dependent upon the journeyperson’s total on-the-job training (OJT) and related technical instruction (RTI) hours. Explore the Industry-Recognized Credentials tool for details.

*STEP Path is a registered trademark of Wilmington University.

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