Connecting the Workforce: Developing Apprenticeships Programs with WorkKeys Solutions (WIOA Series)

For those of us tasked with creating a stronger, more skilled workforce, the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) presents a chance to build the bridge between job seekers and employers using apprenticeships. WIOA includes funding for apprenticeship program development. Those who use WIOA funds for this purpose should know:
  • How to model a strong apprenticeship program
  • How to develop successful apprenticeship candidates as part of a pre-apprenticeship program
  • How job profiling aligns job tasks and skills to close the skills gap
  • How to use the ACT® WorkKeys® platform as part of an apprenticeship program
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Jeff FrazierJeff Frazier serves as the Training Services Manager for Eastman. In this role Jeff works to develop and implement manufacturing training strategies for the integrated Kingsport, TN site. From 2009 to 2018 Jeff served as the Dean of the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) with Northeast State Community College. For over 38 years Jeff has worked in numerous manufacturing capacities in both technical and management areas. He holds a DOL Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship and is a graduate of King College with an MBA in Management. In 2017, under Jeff’s leadership, Northeast State became the first community college in Tennessee to register a group apprenticeship program with the Department of Labor for the occupation of Mechatronics Technician.

Debra LyonsDebra Lyons is Principal Strategist of Workforce Engagement at ACT. In this role, she has used her experience and entrepreneurial skills to successfully launch a new, national external engagement effort focused on workforce advancement. She also serves as Director of the National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board, an organization of senior business leaders who provide guidance to ACT on navigating the national workforce development landscape.

Prior to coming to ACT, she served as the Executive Director for the Governor's Office of Workforce Development for Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, advising the governor on workforce development policy and implementing initiatives to strengthen the state's workforce development enterprise.

Debra holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh University and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland. Lyons is the mother of four grown children and one granddaughter. She resides in Macon, Georgia, with her husband, Dr. Anthony V. Lyons.

Julie GibsonJulie Gibson joined the ACT Client Relations team in December, 2016, and serves as the Director of Workforce Partnership Initiatives. In her role at ACT, Julie partners with national workforce development organizations, customer user groups, and leads the planning for the annual ACT Workforce Summit. Prior to joining ACT, Julie spent 20 years in the public sector, in state and federal government. She has served in executive leadership positions in workforce development, economic development and human services, and has extensive knowledge of employment and training policy and programs.