Apprenticeship Inclusion Models (AIM): Expanding Career Pathways for People with Disabilities

Customer: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy

Contact: [email protected]

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Webinar: Expanding Apprenticeships through AIM, Part 1

What is AIM?

Apprenticeship Inclusion Models (AIM) is an initiative sponsored by the USDOL Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to research, develop, test, and evaluate innovative strategies in existing apprenticeship programs that provide skills training to people with disabilities. To do this, Social Policy Research Associates (SPR) and its partners Wheelhouse Group (Wheelhouse), and Jobs for the Future (JFF) will work with four selected apprenticeship programs to enhance practices, innovate supports, and expand pathways for people with disabilities into high-demand, well-paying careers.


Why AIM?

Apprenticeship programs are on the rise nationally due to their capability to more efficiently connect workers with the skills they need to secure and maintain good jobs in high-demand careers.

Because apprenticeship combines on-the job training and related classroom instruction with a steady paycheck, it offers an ideal solution for the 68 percent of Americans with disabilities who are job seeking[1] and are engaged in employment-related activities. These activities may include preparing for work and the job search, actively searching for jobs, currently participating in employment, or seeking to improve their employment situation.


Check out a few resources that can help you with your apprenticeship programs

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Apprenticeship has the potential to solve a modern challenge which has some job seekers sidelined even when demand for talent is high. Driven by the 2017 Executive Order on Expanding Apprenticeships in America, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is committed to increasing opportunities for talent development in the workplace.

The AIM initiative is specifically focused on expanding access to inclusive apprenticeships for people with disabilities to ensure equal participation by nurturing talent everywhere.


The Partners and Apprenticeship Sites

The AIM initiative is supported by DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Together with Social Policy Research Associates (SPR), Wheelhouse Group (Wheelhouse), and Jobs for the Future (JFF), AIM will guide four selected sites’ efforts to enhance practices, innovative supports, and expand pathways for people with disabilities into high-demand, well-paying careers.

Amazon, Microsoft, the Healthcare Career Advancement Program (H-CAP), and the Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship Program (IMT) will run apprenticeship pilots that seek to enhance supports for fully including youth and adults with disabilities.


Our Approach

During a two-year period, pilot sites will receive training and technical assistance from the operating team to test new, innovative approaches to apprenticeship. AIM will also host a broader Community of Practice for interested practitioners and stakeholders.

AIM will collect data, identify lessons learned, and enhance promising practices from the selected sites and the Community of Practice. These activities will support AIM’s key goal of informing, shaping, and strengthening national policy around apprenticeship, workforce development, and employment.

The project will yield key insights for employers and other organizations about how to implement and scale up inclusive apprenticeship as a model for supporting efforts to recruit, hire, retain, and advance people with disabilities. AIM will also contribute insights, actionable practices, and models for inclusive apprenticeship to the ongoing and robust national dialogue on apprenticeship.


To Participate and Learn More

Work with selected pilot sites began in Spring 2019. A broader audience will begin participating in the AIM Community of Practice in Summer 2019.

We encourage interested parties and organizations to join our Community of Practice by filling out this form.



AIM Blog


AIM Resource Library

The AIM Resource Library offers summaries and links to key tools for apprenticeships, inclusive work-based learning and training, and other related materials. It shares resources to help employers and related organizations implement and scale up inclusive apprenticeship as a model for supporting efforts to recruit, hire, retain, and advance people with disabilities. These resources come from government agencies, colleges and universities, advocacy organizations, and other stakeholder groups with a significant interest in advancing inclusive apprenticeship.


AIM Quarterly Newsletter

The AIM Quarterly Newsletter includes updates on any additions to the AIM Resource Library, information on upcoming AIM team presentations, and other exciting AIM news! Please check out past editions of the newsletter here:


AIM Events

Apprenticeship, Inclusion, and the Future of Work Webinar

Date: January 29, 2020

Location: Webinar

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and a member of the technical assistance team from ODEP’s Apprenticeship Inclusion Models (AIM) Initiative, will discuss the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. The speakers will focus on the benefits of apprenticeships and digital accessibility as part of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAAID) monthly webinar series. The intended audience for this webinar includes workforce practitioners and direct support professionals as well as caregivers, families, residential managers, and case managers.