Apprenticeships: Apprentices with Disabilities

Worker serviceman operating industrial water purification filtration equipment in boiler room or treatment plant

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations were last updated in 2017 with the implementation of some revisions delayed until 2019. Some alterations apply to apprenticeship programs and update  EEO regulations that already protect individuals from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin and sex to include disability, age (40 or older), sexual orientation and genetic information.

For example, the EEO regulations ensure apprenticeship recruitment reaches people with disabilities. Sponsors cannot discriminate against those with disabilities and must provide reasonable accommodations. This applies to all aspects of employment, including outreach, application, interview process and employment.

The apprenticeship EEO regulations also require measurement of the rate of inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Employers must allow apprentices and applicants to self-identify whether they have a disability, but information on the specific disability need not be requested. In 2019, the goal was set that qualified people with disabilities make up at least 7% of a sponsor’s apprentices. This is the benchmark to measure whether barriers for people with disabilities exist in apprenticeship programs and whether diverse and accessible outreach occurs. If the goal is not met, apprenticeship programs are expected to review the program and determine what changes could be made to make it more inclusive.

In the years since these updates took effect, the United States has faced the challenge of a global pandemic. Even so, states have taken legislative steps to meet the requirements outlined in the EEO regulations as well as update disability employment laws. Outlined below are examples of bills enacted since the final updates to EEO went into effect in January 2019.

In August 2021 Illinois enacted House Bill 1838. This amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to include protection against discrimination involving  individual because of their association with a person with a disability. This is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provision that protects applicants and employees from discrimination based on their relationship with an individual with a disability, regardless of whether the employee or applicant has a disability.

Maine passed several bills to conform Maine’s apprenticeship programs and terminology to EEO regulations. Senate Proposal 37, enacted in June 2021, requires apprenticeship programs to request demographic data including race, sex, ethnicity and disability status from apprentices. Also in June 2021, Maine’s governor signed into law House Proposal 987, which discontinues the use of the word “handicapped” and replaces instances of the term with “persons with disabilities.” The words used to portray people with disabilities are important. Remaining respectful, accurate and objective matters. Maine’s move to replace the word “handicapped” is a step toward more neutral language. The ADA National Network provides information about language preferences in their guidelines on language around people with disabilities.

In Washington, employers can apply for certificates to pay less than minimum wage to learners, student workers, apprentices, and previously, to individuals with a disability. In April 2021, Washington enacted Senate Bill 5284 which prohibits subminimum wage certificates based on an employee’s disability.  Subminimum wage certificates can still be obtained for apprentices. If a person with a disability also is an apprentice they may be paid subminimum wage. In this case, the employer must be in an approved program with a valid and approved apprenticeship agreement. The subminimum wage range cannot be less than 75% of the minimum wage rate in the state.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by The Council of State Governments.

Professional Licensing Boards Partner with Software Companies to Manage Online Licensing Services

There is significant variation in the way states issue and manage occupational licenses. Beyond differences in education and training requirements to obtain a license, states also differ in how they process and issue licenses. While some states still use paper application processes, others have migrated to online centralized licensing systems for most or all occupations requiring a license. This provides applicants a place to access information about occupational license requirements as well as application and renewal instructions.

Some states host a website that includes license management while other states partner with a software company to host and manage the process. The Council of State Governments (CSG) has compiled a sample of management software used by states in implementing online occupational licensure management. See the table below to find links to licensing boards, the software options currently used and links to the online licensing portals.

Choosing the correct management software is a decision specific to the state or board’s needs. Case studies on three different software options show what online licensing software can accomplish based on the regulatory structure in the state.

Case Studies

Colorado uses a centralized digital licensing system for all professions within their Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). The DORA Division of Professions and Occupations recently signed a 10 year agreement with several Tyler Technologies options, including the ETK Regulatory solution. ETK Regulatory boasts the ability to automate the regulatory lifecycle and enable online self-service for licensees. This single, comprehensive, cloud-based system will give Colorado licensees and businesses across the state greater flexibility and control.

The Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services met their licensing and data needs by partnering with ImageTrend. ImageTrend offers services specifically for the health care and public service fields. Data analytics, services for emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, software solutions and license management are among the solutions ImageTrend offers. ImageTrend not only supports license management, but also allows for mobile data-collection and documentation so medical providers can use technology – such as tablets – to record information.

The North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects (NCBOLA) announced the opening of its new online licensure portal in May 2021. NCBOLA partnered with Certemy in 2020 to enable an online portal for its license management needs. The goal of the online system is to eliminate paper, lower costs, track continuing education and streamline the licensing process. In referencing why NCBOLA decided to partner with Certemy, Barbara Geiger, Board Administrator of NCBOLA, said, “We needed to go paperless, eliminate duplicate data entry, and automate all our manual workflows in a central system of record that our staff and professionals could access from work or home.”

License Management Software

SoftwareBoardOnline portalAccelaMichigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory AffairsLARA Licensing PortalAithentNevada Department of Health and Human Services
Vermont Agency of EducationOnline Licensing System
Vermont Online Licensing System for EducatorsBright LinkVirginia Board for Barbers and CosmetologyApplicant LoginCertemyLouisiana Auctioneers Licensing Board
North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects
West Virginia Board of ArchitectsLALB Login  
NCBLA Licensee Portal   WVBA Portal  Heuristic Solutions- Learning BuilderAlabama Board of Professional Engineers and Land SurveyorsBELS Licensing PortalImageTrend *primarily used for EMS licensingKentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services
Mississippi State Department of Health
Montana Department of Public HealthKEMSIS License and Certification
EMS eLicensing  
EMS eServicesMerit  Virginia Department of Professional Occupational Regulation  DPOR Digital LicenseNetShapersLouisiana Board of Drug and Device DistributersLicense RenewalPegaVermont Office of Professional RegulationOPR Online ServicesThentia CloudOklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority
Oklahoma Real Estate Commission
Oregon Mental Health Regulatory AgencyOMMA Portal
OREC Portal
MHRA Applicant PortalTyler TechnologiesColorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
State of Connecticut
Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Kansas City Schools  *used for student info
Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal
State of Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation  DORA Online Services  
Connecticut eLicense
Online License  
Kansas City Public Schools Tyler SIS
Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal eLicense
eLicensing Rhode Island

States that transition to online application and renewal services are receiving benefits for boards and licensees. Benefits include ease of access and time and paper saved. An added benefit is that with license management online, boards have an easier time adapting to work-from-home requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. The table above includes many license management software options states are using to meet their online management needs.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by The Council of State Governments.

Using Promising Models to Fulfill Occupational Licensure Requirements

Co-authored by Kyle Doran, a Director at Social Finance.

In any given state across the country, individuals trying to improve their own economic wellbeing face a complex workforce training and licensure system. Imagine Andy, a person who wants to become a licensed heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) contractor, for example. Based on an average of the requirements across 35 states, in order to work as an HVAC contractor, he must first gain over 1,000 cumulative days of experience and training, pay almost $400 in fees and pass two exams. This is a busy time for Andy, and in part due to his participation in this HVAC training, his income is much lower than prior to the program. Without full-time employment and the wages that come with it, transportation, childcare and other expenses become even more of a hardship, and he’s faced with the difficult decision of weighing the cost of a training program and expenses for these core necessities against the ultimate benefit of a more promising career.

This story plays out every day across business sectors, occupations and states. The occupational licensure process often includes fees, exams, education prerequisites and other requirements that differ by state and can be obstacles to an individual obtaining a license. These barriers to licensure are particularly acute for those whose backgrounds do not obviously map to an educational prerequisite, for example, or those who lack funds to pay for up-front fees, including veterans, people with criminal records, low-wage earners, immigrants with work authorization and people with disabilities. As the number of occupations in the U.S. requiring a license increases, states are looking for ways to remove or mitigate barriers to licensure for individuals trying to enter a profession and practice in their state.

At the same time, issues can arise when workers attempt to make education and experience portable across state lines. Veterans and immigrants often have challenges translating to the U.S. their education and experience abroad. Both instances can lead to unemployment and underemployment as these individuals work to meet a different state’s licensure requirements.

The economic effects of COVID-19 have exacerbated these issues and placed a spotlight on the need for licensure portability, especially in fields like health care strained by the pandemic. In addition to expanding telehealth, digital licensing and interstate compacts, states also are looking to expand opportunities for meeting educational requirements or reskilling through expanding apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are a well-established “earn while you learn” model that can alleviate the financial difficulties that arise from significant upfront costs in many training programs—costs like those incurred by Andy in the example above. Apprenticeships also can simultaneously fulfill education and experience requirements that are necessary for many licenses, making it a viable alternative pathway to licensure. And they have a strong track record: the U.S. Department of Labor found that 94% of those who complete an apprenticeship program maintain employment after the program ends, and participation in Registered Apprenticeships has grown 70% over the last 10 years. Expanding apprenticeship programs may help states meet licensure requirements while still accounting for the disproportionate barriers some individuals face.

The Career Impact Bond (CIB) is a student-friendly model for upskilling and training programs, supported by Social Finance’s $50 million UP Fund. Supported by philanthropically minded impact investors, in a CIB, students enroll in training programs with no upfront costs, only repaying those costs if they gain meaningful employment after the program. CIBs provide wraparound support for students ranging from career coaching and job placement assistance to emergency aid funds and support for housing, childcare and transportation. CIBs put student-centered design first: students who land a job over a predetermined income threshold repay the cost of training and their repayment is capped both in length of time and dollar amount. CIBs also offer “downside protection” such that if a student does not find a job above the income threshold, they do not pay.

Early feedback shows that CIBs can be a meaningful tool to increase access to training for low-wage earners, including people of color. In General Assembly’s Career Impact Bond, the percentage of Black students is four times that of their typical student body. Student participation in the American Diesel Training Centers program doubled after the it began using CIBs, with over 90% of graduates getting hired. While CIBs are a relatively new tool in the workforce training space, they hold real potential to help workers find and embark on new career paths. There is great promise for similar models that help individuals attain the licenses they need for economic mobility.

Several states have started to take an interest in the model, forming a new policy tool called Pay It Forward Funds (PIFF) to bring the mechanism to more students. PIFFs are state-sponsored initiatives that leverage public funding (like federal stimulus dollars) to support CIBs, which may recycle student repayments back into the fund to support future cohorts of students. New Jersey was the first state to announce the development of a PIFF in 2020, and at least six other states are pursuing similar efforts. Read more about CIBs, PIFFs and many other models of cross-sector partnerships in Workforce Realigned: How New Partnerships Are Advancing Economic Mobility, a recent book from Social Finance and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Apprenticeships, CIBs and PIFFs are promising tools that can help people overcome barriers to licensure. By sharpening their focus on innovative approaches to workforce training, states can help individuals like Andy earn licensure and improve their economic mobility while helping industries attract and train the workers they need.

This policy brief is a collaboration between CSG & Social Finance, a national impact finance and advisory nonprofit. Learn more at socialfinance.org.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by The Council of State Governments.

Credential Transparency: Alabama Launches Alabama Credential Registry

Postsecondary institutions, job training programs and employers in the U.S. offer over 950,000 different kinds of credential opportunities, including professional licenses, according to Credential Engine. With this number of offered credentials, it can be difficult to determine which education and training programs will make workers competitive for employment. Moreover, it can be difficult for employers to know if a worker’s credential gives them the necessary skill set for a job.

Solutions to these realities involve making data on credentials, competencies and occupational skills fully transparent, including data on skills in greatest demand and where such skills are being taught. As more and more states work to build back a more inclusive and equitable workforce, credential transparency has come to the forefront. Particularly for licensed professions, credential transparency can provide clearer information for practitioners working to earn their license and for those already licensed professionals upskilling.

On September 22, Alabama launched the Alabama Credential Registry, a partnership among Credential Engine, the Lumina Foundation, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and the Alabama Workforce Council. This registry will congregate all certificates, licenses, traditional degrees and non-degree credentials offered in Alabama and is intended to foster transparency for both workers and employers. Workers and students will be able to find information more easily about the skills each credential certifies, its value and cost, as well as the employment opportunities it offers. Employers will be able to cross-check the existence of credentials listed on applicants resumes and the relevance to the role for which someone has applied. The Alabama Workforce Council Chair hopes to have over half of the credentials offered in Alabama published by 2023. It will help identify gaps in postsecondary offerings and facilitate new opportunities for professionals in Alabama.

Early next year, the Alabama Skills-Based Job Description Generator and Employer Portal, a tool that will allow employers to align job descriptions with more in-demand skills, also will be released. Alabama also was one of six states participating in the National Skills Coalition’s (NSC) quality postsecondary credential policy academy, where they leveraged their participation in the policy academy to build out the Credential Registry.

Other states have been moving aggressively, as well. Since 2020, several states have passed legislation to ensure information about credentials can be easily accessed, compared and connected to other education and workforce data. In 2021, Connecticut passed legislation that requires the executive director of the Office of Higher Education to create a database of “credentials”, defined as a documented award issued by an authorized body – the state is utilizing resources from Credential Engine. In Texas, legislators passed a bill that encourages the creation of a “library” of credentials. Additionally, Indiana partnered with their Professional Licensing Agency to add 47 licenses to their registry that prepare graduates to become licensed. The state also has published pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) with the intention to add other fields with available licensure exam results.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has identified four legislative actions states can take to increase credential transparency in their states: (1) developing statewide goals for credential attainment, (2) identifying high value credentials, (3) developing protocols to provide academic credit for completion of state-approved credentials, (4) and providing incentives or mandates for credential programs.

Increasing credential transparency can concurrently address other state goals in workforce development including recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for displaced workers who seek to upgrade their skills or enter a different field. Other actions states could take to utilize credential transparency to lower barriers to licensure are leveraging credential databases to strengthen license portability, accessing apprenticeship programs and creating more inclusive workforces that include veterans, foreign-trained professionals, and individuals with criminal records.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by The Council of State Governments.

Apprenticeships: Veterans and Military Spouses

Veterans and military spouses are two groups that often face barriers to obtaining and keeping employments. Veterans often have difficulties marketing their skills for the civilian workforce as well as in translating their skills, training, education, and experience into a new field. On the other hand, military spouses have trouble with the frequent moves that are common with military families. With the increasing numbers of jobs that require an occupational licensure, it is important to lower any barriers to licensure that might further hinder these two groups from employment. Occupational licensing regulations that do not account for veterans’ skills and experiences can cause them to pay additional fees for education and training necessary for licensure that they might already have gained in the military. For military spouses, the frequent moves can make it more difficult for them to transfer their professional licenses across state lines, possibly needing to gain additional experience or pay extra fees to practice in a new state. Both instances can discourage these groups from entering the labor market, and states have been working to mitigate these effects.

One of these ways includes increasing access to apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships “earn while you learn” model can help veterans and military spouses fill these gaps in skills and education while still earning an income. Veterans specifically have many technical skills and professional experiences that make them attractive candidates for employers looking for qualified individuals for their registered apprenticeship programs. The Department of Veterans affairs also offers employers and apprentices possible benefits for hiring veterans, such as wage assistance, subsidies for supplies and training materials, tax credits, and housing allowance.

Many states have passed legislation having to do with recognizing veteran’s skills and experience, as well as with state-approved apprenticeship programs being more accessible to veterans and military spouses. TX S 337, the most recent piece of legislation, aims to facilitate veterans and military spouses in the participation of apprenticeship programs. However, there remain several areas open for improvement and expansion, including increasing housing assistance, access to benefits, and support for participating employers, where policymakers could make an impact. Additionally, Military spouses enjoy noticeable less apprenticeships benefits than veterans, and further assistance is necessary for them to enter the job market, as well as for employers to gain access to this talent pool that covers a wide array for professional fields. While house appropriators have introduced a bill that would require the Pentagon create a program that would increase opportunities in internships and apprenticeships for military spouses, there is still plenty of work left to do to ensure military spouses can fill skills gaps necessary to transfer their professional license.      

Below are a few apprenticeships resources from the federal government that are specifically tailored for veterans and military spouses, as well as legislation passed in states that increase access to apprenticeships for veterans and military spouses:

ResourcePopulationDescriptionLinkService Members and Veterans | Apprenticeship.govActive Duty, Separating Soon, Veterans, and Veterans with Service-Connected DisabilityThis webpage on apprenticeship.gov details apprenticeship pathways for service members and veterans.Resources for Employers and Sponsors  Resources for Service Members and VeteransDOL Transition Assistance ProgramMilitary members in transition to civilian life, including military spousesThe Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides information, tools, and training to ensure service members, and their spouses, are prepared for the next step in civilian life.Transition Assistance Program | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsVeterans, Military spouses, and dependentsGI Bill training programs can help you pay for books, supplies, and housing while you’re learning a trade or skill through on-the-job training or apprenticeships.On-The-Job Training And Apprenticeships | Veterans Affairs (va.gov)

StateBillDateStatusSummaryAlaskaAK H 3732018FailedRelates to occupational licensing fees for low income workers and military families, relates to licensing of individuals with criminal records, relates to apprenticeship programs, relates to the minimum wage, relates to lobbying, relates to municipal occupational licensing fees and requirements.CaliforniaCA A 19732016FailedAppropriates funds to the State Department of Education for allocation to school districts for purposes of energy efficiency projects. Provides a district is eligible for funds if it has received specified funding and completes an action in connection to such projects, to include utilizing state-approved apprenticeship programs and ensures access to those programs for certain qualified veterans.CONNECTICUTCT H 53502010EnactedProvides that a state agency or board that issues licenses or certificates for which professional training, schooling or apprenticeship is required shall provide credits or exemptions from requirements toward licensure or certification for any applicant who received applicable training, schooling or experience while serving as a member of the armed forces.FloridaFL S 15002013EnactedAs part of the larger FY 2014 budget bill, $750,000 is allocated to the Home Builders Institute’s Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) program. Funds must be used to provide veterans with career training, vocational training, and job placement services in the home building industry.ILLINOISIL 122015Executive OrderOrders Reporting on Apprenticeship and Training Opportunities.LOUISIANALA H 10012016EnactedRelates to apprenticeship agreements, provides for limitations regarding language included in apprenticeship agreements, prohibits any apprenticeship law from invalidating any special provisions in such agreement, apprenticeship program standards, apprenticeship qualifications, or the program operation procedure relative to veterans, minorities, or women.MAINEME S 6522014FailedProposes to expand and improve the Maine Apprenticeship Program by expanding and improving outreach programs to recruit new employers and educate employers regarding apprenticeship, the occupations that are eligible for apprenticeship and how to participate in or establish an apprenticeship program, proposes to expand and improve outreach programs to educate providers of services unemployed workers, new workers, including recent high school graduates, workers returning to the workforce and veterans.MARYLANDMD S 9782018EnactedAuthorizes a student or a student’s parent or guardian to release the student’s Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery score to certain apprenticeship programs and employers, authorizes the State Department of Education to adopt regulations to require the award of credit toward high school graduation requirements for time spent in apprenticeship programs, authorizes a Workforce Development Sequence Scholarship to be used for costs to participate in an apprenticeship program.MD H 12162018EnactedAuthorizes a student or a student’s parent or guardian to release the student’s Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery score to apprenticeship programs and employers, authorizes the State Department of Education to adopt regulations to require the award of credit toward high school graduation requirements for time spent in apprenticeship programs, authorizes a Workforce Development Sequence Scholarship to be used for costs to participate in an apprenticeship programMICHIGANMI H 41342016EnactedAmends the Boiler Act, clarifies the definition of approved apprenticeship program, makes changes concerning requirements for a license to inspect, install, or repair boilers, and for registration as a boiler operator or stationary engineer for persons with military experience, and rules for alteration and servicing of boilers.MINNESOTAMN S 24882012FailedRelates to veterans, expands the purposes for the Minnesota GI Bill program to include apprenticeships and on-the-job training.MONTANAMT H 3082017EnactedCreates an income tax credit program for employers of registered apprentices, including an increased credit for employing veterans, provides that the credits be taken against individual income tax and corporate income tax liabilities, provides rulemaking authority.MT H 5512015FailedProvides for an apprenticeship tax credit, with an increased amount for veterans, relates to labor and employment, relates to professions and occupations generally, relates to state revenue, relates to taxation, relates to taxation of corporations, relates to taxation of individual income.NEW JERSEYNJ A 20142013FailedEstablishes Helmets to Hardhats pilot program in New Jersey Turnpike Authority that connects National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military personnel with jobs in the construction industry, requires that highway construction projects be awarded to contractors who employ workers from an apprenticeship trade under the program for a specified percentage of total labor hours, requires the pay to be at the prevailing wage for the trade or craft involved.NEW YORKNY S 80032020PendingAmends the Labor Law, relates to project labor agreement feasibility studies and apprenticeship agreements, the study shall look to see if there will be a negative impact on opportunities for minority, women or service-disabled veteran owned businesses, such feasibility studies shall be provided to the public for review and comment.OREGONOR H 40982018EnactedDirects the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to develop written material regarding apprenticeship opportunities, requires the Department to provide material to certain agencies, county Veterans’ service officers and Veterans’ organizations for distribution, directs the Department to provide annual training to county Veterans’ service officers and Veterans’ organizations regarding apprenticeship programs, and federal and state education benefits.OR S 15412012FailedAllows person who obtained plumbing education, training, and experience while on active duty with armed forces to have education, training and experience evaluated for credit toward fulfillment of approved plumbing apprenticeship, applies to plumbing apprenticeships entered into on or after January 1, 2013, declares emergency, effective on passage.OR HJM 112011FailedUrges Congress to allow apprenticeship training and on-the-job training as benefit in Post 9/11 Government Issue Bill.RHODE ISLANDRI S 25392014EnactedAllows persons honorably discharged from military service or transferred to reserve status or the National Guard after active military service to use his or her acquired classroom and workplace training to fulfill the requirements for apprenticeship and journey persons for the skilled trades of electricians, blasters, plumbers and irrigators, hoisting engineers and mechanical trades, provides persons meeting any requirements through military service remain subject to licensing fees and examinations.RI H 79272014EnactedAllows any person honorably discharged from military service or transferred to reserve status or the National Guard after active military service to use his or her acquired classroom and workplace training to fulfill the requirements for apprenticeship or journey persons for electricians, blasters, plumbers, hoisting engineers and mechanical trades, clarifies that persons meeting any requirements through military service remain subject to licensing fees and examinations for the desired trade.TEXASTX S 3372021EnactedRelates to the award of grants by the State Workforce Commission to facilitate the participation of certain veterans and military personnel in apprenticeship training programs.TX H 22542013EnactedRequires state agencies to adopt rules to provide credit towards occupational licenses which require an apprenticeship in fields relevant to a service member’s training and experience in a military occupational specialty.WASHINGTONWA H 19222014FailedRequires the Washington state Department of Transportation to expend $1,900,000 or 0.5 percent of federal highway Surface Transportation program capital funds, whichever is less, for apprenticeship preparation, apprenticeship, and support services, adds recruitment of women, veterans, and persons of color to participate in the apprenticeship program at the State Department of Transportation to the list of services that the State Department of Transportation must provide.WA H 19222013FailedRequires the Washington state Department of Transportation to expend $1,900,000 or 0.5 percent of federal highway Surface Transportation program capital funds, whichever is less, for apprenticeship preparation, apprenticeship, and support services, adds recruitment of women, veterans, and persons of color to participate in the apprenticeship program at the State Department of Transportation to the list of services that the State Department of Transportation must provide.WA S 63572010EnactedRequires the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges to develop policies for awarding academic credit for learning from work and military experience, military law enforcement training, career college training, internships, externships, and apprenticeships.

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by The Council of State Governments.

Occupational Licensing Literature and State Policy Scan

Occupational licensing has grown dramatically over the years, leading to a larger share of American workers who need a license to perform their work. Accounting for just five percent of the employed population in the 1950’s, licensed workers now comprise more than 25 percent of all employed Americans. Spurred by concerns for public safety, consumer protection or other policy goals, the growth in state licensing over time has created a patchwork of different requirements across states, making it difficult for workers to move their skills across state lines, and costly for them to work in a licensed profession.

DOL Consortium

To identify problems in occupational licensure and help states find solutions, The Council of State Governments (CSG), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices created in 2017 the Occupational Licensing Policy Learning Consortium, a partnership of 16 states. This work is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration. The Consortium has strengthened understanding of occupational licensure issues among participating states by providing a forum for the state leaders and stakeholder professions to learn about occupational licensing best practices, become familiar with and discuss the existing licensing policies in their state and identify current policies that create unnecessary barriers to labor market entry, especially for disproportionately affected populations. States also were tasked with creating an action plan that focuses on removing barriers to labor market entry and improves portability and reciprocity for select occupations.

CSG, NCSL, and NGA have facilitated Consortium partner assessment of evidence-based research, best practices, possible alternatives to licensure, multi-state comparable data and, state-specific data; and provided opportunities to network with national experts. Each state in the Consortium has received technical assistance from CSG, NCSL and NGA to develop their action plans. Consortium states also created a core team of officials to participate in project activities, as well as a broader group of stakeholders to serve as a continuing network in occupational licensure policy. Each state selected specific occupations and target populations to focus on through this work, as well as examining other aspects of licensure regulation addressed in their action plans.

The first phase of the project culminated in 2020 with a Report issued by the partner organizations that outlines the work of participating states and best practices in occupational licensure policy. Lessons learned by Consortium states outlined in the Report assist all state policy-makers in decisions surrounding occupational licensure. This site contains the Report, along with more information about state assistance Consortium states received, and a collection of project resources created by CSG and its partners on specific occupational licensing issues.

Project Overview

Third-Party Verification of License Requirements

With the transition to online license application and renewal processes accelerated by the pandemic, states must consider how best to manage third-party verification in online licensing systems. Most states with such systems do not allow applicants to upload documents. Instead, documents must be provided by institutions of higher education or verified by a national association. In rare cases, applicants can upload a document signed by a school official as proof of completed education requirements.

“Primary source verification” (PSV) refers to verification of an individual’s reported credentials and qualifications through the issuing organization or governmental entity or through a designated equivalent source (i.e., an approved agent designated to maintain official credential information). Methods of primary source verification include direct correspondence, such as a documented telephone conversation or facsimile, email or letter. Obtaining original documents is not necessarily equivalent to primary source verification (communication with the original source through the applicant or his or her agent is not primary source verification).

As technology continues to become more sophisticated, more organizations will automate PSV processes. In a recent study, 83% of healthcare organizations have fully or partially automated the PSV process. Primary sources increasingly provide internet portals and/or web access for credentials verification, making the process more efficient. As part of the automation process, organizations may outsource PSV to a third-party. Credential Verification Organizations (CVOs) conduct PSV of practitioner credentials for other organizations.

Credential Verification Organizations (CVOs):

Verity StreamVerisysMedallionsymplrEverCheck

Some software interfaces with higher education institutions to automatically confirm the education requirements. For example, Michigan uses the software Accela, which interfaces with continuing education providers to automatically retrieve credentials and validate education requirements. Additionally, some state licensing boards are members of national associations that collect and maintain education and work experience for their member states.  For example, Connecticut’s Architectural Licensing Board is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registrations Board (NCARB). The applicant notifies the appropriate association to provide the individual’s record to the state. Then, the state board can securely access NCARB’s database to download records. See the table below for examples of state boards and their methods of third-party verification.

State Online Portal Software Method California – Board of Accounting (CBA) CPA License Online Application  Sent by institution – applicant must request transcripts be sent to the CBA Connecticut – Architectural Licensing Board and State Board of Landscape Architects ELicense Iron Data Solutions Sent by national association Florida – Barbers Online Services  Uploaded by applicant but must have signature of school official on portion verifying minimum education requirements Illinois State of Illinois | Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (idfpr.com)  Uploaded by applicant Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Accela Interfaces directly with institutions to verify education credentials New Mexico – Counseling Apply Online  Exam scores sent by national association, other documents uploaded by applicant  Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing  Sent by institution – either sent online by institution or provided in a sealed envelope Vermont Vermont Office of Professional Regulation  Dependent on profession: sent by national board, institution or uploaded by applicant Washington Audiologist Apply Online :: Washington State Department of Health  Sent by institution 

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by The Council of State Governments.

The Month of the Military Child

The Council of State Governments (CSG) joins the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) in celebrating the Month of the Military Child (MOTMC) during April.

MIC3 is an affiliate of CSG. MIC3 addresses key issues encountered by military families in relation to education: eligibility, enrollment, placement and graduation. Join CSG and MIC3 in celebrating the military child by wearing purple and learning more at mic3.net!

This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The product was created by the recipient and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This product is copyrighted by The Council of State Governments.