Marano Fellows Class of 2014
Name: Zach Boren

Senior Advisor


Office of Apprenticeship, U.S. Department of Labor

Location: Washington, DC
Industry Sector: Manufacturing

Organizational Background & Mission: The Office of Apprenticeship’s (OA) mission is to collaboratively lead and support our uniquely American Registered Apprenticeship system, promoting high quality workforce solutions for industry, ensuring valued earn and learn opportunities and career pathways for job seekers, and building strategic partnerships that strengthen our nation’s workforce and improve the economic competitiveness of U.S industry.

For more than 75 years, Registered Apprenticeships have provided the nation with a demand-driven model of work-based learning opportunities combined with classroom instruction leading to industry recognized credentials and sustainable, well-paying careers. This sector-based system is dependent on high levels of private investment and engagement where industry drives training standards and pays the cost for a skilled workforce while yielding exceptional individual (estimated at $300,000 in net life time earnings gain) and public sector benefits (career pathways, high wages, and other economic benefits).

Interest in Sector Work: In Fiscal Year 2014, OA is kicking off a Sectors of Excellence in Apprenticeship (SEAs) initiative to develop industry sector strategies with the aim of creating more apprenticeships in high-growth industries and occupations. In particular, OA will focus on improving its manufacturing sector strategy at the national and regional levels. Today, manufacturing consists of approximately 10 percent of all apprenticeship programs. With the establishment of the SEAs and other strategies, OA aims to dramatically increase the number manufacturing apprenticeships over the next five years.

My objective in the Aspen Sector Skills Academy is to learn proven approaches to advance apprenticeship in manufacturing and other sectors wrestling with creating a competitive workforce. The next generation depends us to build a workforce and an economy that is job-driven, and that provides for family-sustaining careers. Our organization must invest wisely, in proven economic development strategies, such as sectoral strategies, to rebuild and expand the middle class. I believe the partnerships, policies, and lessons learned at the Academy will help our organization meet America’s increasing skills gap, and at the same time, address the problem of growing economic inequality.