New Pre-Apprenticeship Program Begins

Wilmington, DE February 26, 2019– Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Employment and Training, Office of Apprenticeship and Training has developed a new Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program to complement its existing Registered Apprenticeship programs. The Office will approve the program providers and will post a list of qualified pre-apprenticeship programs on its website.

Being a part of a Pre-Apprenticeship program is ideal for individuals who lack experience or education, but want to build a solid foundation to start a successful career. As Delaware’s unemployment rate drops, disadvantaged and underrepresented populations will be at a greater risk of being left behind. Pre-Apprenticeship opportunities will allow these populations to gain the needed hard and soft skills for a successful career.

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs refer to a program or set of strategies designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship Program. Pre-Apprenticeship Programs are designed to:

    1. Create a qualified pipeline of individuals ready to become Registered Apprentices;
    2. Expand Registered Apprentices to include underrepresented participants such as non-traditional gender or race/ethnicity, disadvantaged populations, or low-skilled workers; and
    3. Recognize credit for related education or training.

“The creation of this program is another step that the Delaware Department of Labor is taking to assist populations that historically have had barriers to gain entry or advancement in the workforce,” said Stacey Laing, Director of the Division of Employment and Training. “This also provides another tool for businesses to tailor the workforce to better meet their needs.”

Registered Apprenticeship is an effective “earn while you learn” model with a long history of providing career ladders and pathways to the middle class, particularly for the building and construction industry but increasingly in other industries as well. In calendar year 2018, the average starting wage for an apprentice was $14.70/hour ($29,400/year), with wages upon completion averaging at $24.00/hour ($48,000/year). These results demonstrate the advantages a Registered Apprenticeship offers in providing both a significant wage gain and clear career path for entry-level workers.

Quality pre-apprenticeship programs can play a valuable role in preparing qualified entry-level workers for Registered Apprenticeship careers while contributing to the development of a diverse and skilled workforce. Through a variety of unique program designs and approaches, pre-apprenticeship programs can be adapted to meet the needs of diverse populations being trained, the various employers and sponsors they serve, and specific opportunities within the local labor market.

The Pre-Apprenticeship Policies and Procedures, and Application were released on February 15, 2019, and can be found on the website. For more information about the pre-apprenticeship program or how to become a recognized pre-apprenticeship program though the Delaware Office of Apprenticeship and Training, please email or visit our website

The Division of Employment and Training provides services enabling employers and job seekers to make informed employment and training choices leading to employment.


Contact: Jennifer Zeberkiewicz


Unemployment Line Goes Online

The Delaware Department of Labor Fox Valley location in Wilmington will no longer offer “counter service” for unemployment insurance claims beginning January 22, 2019. All unemployment insurance claims will be filed using the streamlined process available online at Individuals can file a claim using any computer or smart phone without the inconvenience of travelling to one of our offices.

The Division of Unemployment Insurance’s other locations will continue to offer counter service until March 11, 2019. After that, all claims will be done online.
• Dover – Blue Hen Corporate Center 655 S. Bay Road Suite 2H
• Newark – Pencader Corporate Center 225 Corporate Blvd. Suite 108
• Georgetown – 8 Georgetown Plaza, Suite 2

All other divisions at the Department of Labor will remain the same – Employment and Training, Industrial Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation will still offer workshops, appointments, and services onsite using the same delivery and processes.

This process for unemployment claims is more efficient, saves time for the unemployed worker (the claimant) and offers the ability to file at home on a computer or smart phone. A claimant can use any computer with internet access. Claimants can apply:
• on their home computer or any public computer
• on your mobile phone
• at any public library
• current Department of Labor locations will continue to have self-service computer workstations (kiosks). Staff will be available for assistance.

The option for claimants to file a new claim online has been available for years. Delaware is one of only two states that still offers the traditional “unemployment line” with in-person claims handled from the counter. This option generally takes longer and requires documentation.

How to file
The claimant who wants to file for benefits needs the following information to apply:
• Social security number
• Last 18 months of employment history

As part of the process, claimants are required to register with the Division of Employment and Training

Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade said, “This is just one piece of the puzzle as we continue to modernize the Department of Labor and improve our many services to tax payers.”

For more information, unemployed Delawareans should contact their local Department of Labor offices (302)761-8446 Wilmington, (302)368-6600 Newark, (302)739-05461 Dover and (302)856-5611 Georgetown.
To file an unemployment insurance claim, log on to and click the red/orange button “File An Unemployment Insurance Claim”.

State of Delaware, City of Wilmington Collaborate on Mobile Jobs Unit in Wilmington

Department of Labor bus will connect Wilmington residents with job-seeking resources in their communities

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, and Delaware Labor Secretary Patrice Gilliam-Johnson announced a new initiative on Wednesday to send employment services teams into various communities in Wilmington using a specially-equipped bus dubbed the Mobile One-Stop (MOS) unit.

Dispatching the 40-foot Department of Labor office on wheels also will increase awareness about the agency’s services for job seekers and employers – bringing these valuable resources to Delawareans in their communities. The bus is equipped with 10 computer workstations, a monitor to display presentations, wireless internet access, and a printer. On board, Delaware Department of Labor employees are ready to assist clients with job searches, resume building, and work training enrollment.

Labor employees on board also can answer questions about the many services offered by the agency.

“We are working hard to make sure that Delaware’s economy works for all Delawareans. Often, that means connecting Delawareans with jobs resources that will help them find good-paying work,” said Governor Carney. “Through this mobile jobs unit, the Department of Labor is getting out into the communities we serve, and meeting Delawareans where they live. This initiative also is one of many examples of how we are working across agencies, with the City of Wilmington, to improve our economy and quality of life for residents in our largest city. Thank you to Mayor Purzycki and Secretary Gilliam-Johnson for their leadership.”

The mobile jobs unit will be dispatched in the City of Wilmington through October to assist Wilmington residents in their job searches. There are currently 2,560 unemployed Wilmington residents actively seeking work. And though 11.6% is Wilmington’s contribution to the county’s labor force of 15,040, the city represents 16.6% of the unemployed.

“This is serious and we have to do something about it,” said Dr. Gilliam-Johnson, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor. “Many of the problems Wilmington residents face today can be linked to unemployment, and in order to get to a solution, we have to make meaningful connections with those seeking work, erase this inherent sense of hopelessness that exists, and present them with real and viable opportunities.”

This year, the bus has been deployed at a community block party in South Bridge, is scheduled to make weekly visits to Wilmington’s Safe Haven Community Centers and, until the end of October. will deploy regularly at the Rodney Square Downtown Visions Farmer’s Market on Wednesday afternoons.

“We want to educate Wilmington residents about employment services that are available through the State Labor Department, and to help job seekers more easily access those services,” said Mayor Purzycki. “Given that a lack of transportation can be a huge obstacle for someone who is unemployed, we need to make it easier for residents by bringing those services to the people who need them the most – meeting people where they are and where they live.”


Find the Mobile One-Stop bus:

Latin American Community Center
Wednesday, September 6 from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Thursday, September 7 from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
403 N Van Buren St, Wilmington, DE 19805

Westside Family Health Center & New Destiny Church
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
908 16th St B, Wilmington, DE 19802

West End Neighborhood Home
Tuesday, September 19, at 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Wednesday, September 20, at 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
710 North Lincoln Street, Wilmington, DE 19805

Westside Family Health Center & New Destiny Church
Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM
908 16th St B, Wilmington, DE 19802

Hilltop Lutheran Center
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
1018 W 6th St, Wilmington, DE 19805

Fraim Boys and Girls Club
Friday, September 22, 2017 at 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
669 S. Union St. Wilmington, DE


Related news:
Governor Carney Takes Steps to Restructure Economic Development, Create Jobs
Governor Carney Announces Statewide Jobs & Economy Tour
Governor Carney Signs House Bill 190 to Modernize the Coastal Zone Act
Governor Carney Named to NGA Economic Development and Commerce Committee

More than a dozen state and non-profit service providers collaborate at ‘One-Stop’ employment assistance meeting

DOVER – More than 200 representatives from state and community agencies focused on assisting Delawareans navigate the challenging and sometimes harrowing experience of becoming gainfully employed will come together this week to further strategize on enhancing their collaborative efforts to serve their customers.

The One-Stop Partner Convening provides an opportunity for front-line staff to continue to learn about the resources currently available to job seekers and employers. This One-Stop Partner system brings together workforce development, education and other human resource services in order to improve long-term employment outcomes for Delaware citizens and ensures employers have a skilled workforce.

“This one-stop system has gone a long way toward helping the Delaware Department of Labor provide our residents with the kind of support that goes beyond just landing a job,” said Secretary Dr. Patrice Gilliam-Johnson. “Often times people looking for work are faced with other challenges that presents the need for access to other services such as finance management, temporary public assistance, adult education and the like.”

“It is important we ensure this cross collaboration remains strong,” she added, “which is why the annual convening is critical.”

The One-Stop Partner Convening is in its second year is and part of a larger effort by the Delaware Workforce Development Board to realign services with the changing workforce requirements.

“This event is another example of how Delaware agencies are working together to make a difference in the lives of Delawareans across our state. We are all committed to helping all Delawareans build the skills necessary to compete and succeed in today’s economy,” said Governor John Carney. “This one-stop concept helps take our delivery of these services to the next level.”

Most of the participants at the May 17th event will be state employees from a variety of agencies that provide career or supportive services to Delawareans to assist them to reach their career goals, said Bill Potter, Executive Director of the Delaware Workforce Development Board.

“The one-stop system brings together workforce development, educational, and other human resource services in a seamless customer-focused service delivery network that enhances access to the programs’ services and improves long-term employment outcomes for individuals receiving assistance,” he said. “One-stop partners administer separately funded programs as a set of integrated streamlined services to customers.”

Employment and financial empowerment are closely linked said Mary Dupont, Director of Financial Empowerment at $tand By Me.

“$tand By Me is pleased to be a One Stop partner because our goal is to ensure that everyone in Delaware has access to personal financial coaching, especially when they are going through life transitions,” said Dupont. “Having someone in your corner who you can trust and who will support you as you wrestle with financial changes can reduce stress and help people dealing with job changes to feel more in control of their finances.”

Since lifelong learning is a 21st century requirement for all those in the workplace, Adult Education, as part of this One Stop System, will teach the information and skills necessary to get and keep good paying jobs that support Delaware’s economy.

“Simultaneously, Adult Ed will help parents to support their children’s success in school because we live for the moment but must also grow the future,” said Maureen Whelan, Director of the Delaware Department of Education’s division of Adult and Prison Education Resources. “This convening brings front line staff from all of the partners together to learn, to discuss, to make the system better because it is a meeting of the minds, the spirits and the energies of many focused on the common goal of meeting Delaware’s employment needs.”

Included in the one-stop system is the DOL Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, which also works to support people with disabilities who experience barriers to employment. Individualized plans for employment are crafted between counselors and customers using services such as:

  • Assessment
  • Post-secondary training
  • Pre-employment career counseling services for students and sheltered workshop employees
  • Assistive technology
  • Counseling, coaching and guidance support
  • Placement, resume writing and interviewing care
  • Benefits counseling
  • Pardon and expungement provisions
  • Transportation support

For a list of One-Stop Partners visit

What: Delaware Workforce Development Board One-Stop Convening

When: Wednesday, May 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m

Where: Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, 1131 North Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901


The Delaware Workforce Development Board is the Governor’s appointed board established by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.  The majority of its members represent local employers.  They are responsible for many tasks but overall provide guidance and accountability for the state’s workforce system.


The Delaware Department of Labor connects people to jobs, resources, monetary benefits, workplace protections and labor market information to promote financial independence, workplace justice and a strong economy.

Leon Tucker, Director of Communications

Delaware Department of Labor

302.761.8002 office

302.530.5770 Cell

U.S. Labor Secretary, Sen. Coons Join Secretary Gilliam-Johnson to Tour Wilmington Apprenticeship Program

Roundtables to discuss Delaware’s progress coincide with announcement of funding won by Markell Administration

Wilmington, DE – U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Sen Tom Carper, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and Delaware DOL Secretary Patrice Gilliam-Johnson met in Wilmington on Oct. 3 to tour local Apprenticeship and Training operations and participate in two roundtables to discuss the program’s progress.

The visit coincides with a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor that Delaware has received a $200,000 federal grant to expand its Apprenticeship and Training operation by integrating the program into local education and workforce systems, engaging industry and other partners to expand apprenticeship to new sectors and new populations and expanding outreach with employers to offer new apprenticeship opportunities.

This work builds on efforts spearheaded by Governor Markell’s Administration that provide better pipelines to good jobs, including the TechHire initiative that has more than doubled participants incomes by giving them IT training, as well as the Pathways to Prosperity program, through which 6,000 high school students are on track to graduate with college credit and workplace experience in high-demand fields.

“We’re really excited about the strides we continue to make with our apprenticeship and training program in Delaware,” said Secretary Gilliam-Johnson. “We have seen the value of investments in high-quality workforce training through the success of Delawareans who have participated. And thanks to this grant and the support we’ve received from Senator Coons, Senator Carper, Congressman Carney and U.S. Labor Secretary Perez, we’re able to do even more to create employment opportunities for hard-working Delawareans.”

According to USDOL statistics, 87 percent of apprentices are employed after completing their programs, with an average starting wage above $50,000 per year. The return on investment for employers is substantial, as studies indicate that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers receive an average of $1.47 return in increased productivity, reduced waste and greater front-line innovation.

In Delaware the program has produced graduates since the mid 1970’s and currently has nearly 1,100 active registered apprentices in 23 different occupations. There are some 300 active sponsors or employers for these, with the largest numbers stemming from the electrician, plumbing and HVAC trades.

“Enhancing our apprenticeship offerings is one of the best ways to strengthen the quality of our workforce over the long term,” said Governor Markell. “This effort, combined with others like Pathways to Prosperity and TechHire, are helping to ensure Delaware remains competitive in the new economy and that we build on the progress that has led to the best job growth in the region. I welcome Secretary Perez to Delaware today and thank him and our congressional delegation for their support for these programs.”

The majority of apprenticeships are four years in length, with the participants receiving 8,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. For each year of training, a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction is required. Upon completion of the required on-the-job training and related instruction, the apprentice is eligible for “journey papers.” A journeyperson is nationally recognized as having a well-rounded ability in all phases of his or her trade.

Schedule of events

Apprenticeship Tour and Roundtable

What: Secretary Perez, will participate in an apprenticeship roundtable with Senator Carper, Senator Coons, Delaware Secretary of Labor Gilliam-Johnson, elected officials, community leaders and Apprenticeship program participants.

When: 10–11:30 am

Where: RC Fabrication, 824 Locust Street, Wilmington, DE 19801


Tech Hire Tour

What: Secretary Perez, Sen. Coons, Delaware Secretary of Labor Gilliam-Johnson, and business and community leaders will participate in a tour of Zip Code. They also will take part in a coding competition where they are put different teams of students competing against each other’s coding abilities.

When:  11:45am – 12:00pm

WhereZip Code, 1105 N. Market Street, 3rd Floor, Wilmington, DE 19801



President Barack Obama proclaimed the week of November 2, 2015, as the first Annual National Apprenticeship Week. This year, the second Annual National Apprenticeship Week will take place November 14-20, 2016 NAW offers Registered Apprenticeship Sponsors the opportunity to showcase their programs, facilities, and apprentices, and gives Employers, Education, Industry Associations, Labor, Elected officials and other critical partners the opportunity to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship meets their needs for a skilled workforce.


Here’s video of Senator Coons highlighting Delaware Apprenticeship programs to mark National Apprenticeship Week:



The Delaware Department of Labor connects people to jobs, resources, monetary benefits, workplace protections and labor market information to promote financial independence, workplace justice and a strong economy. The department is made up of five divisions:

Division of Employment & Training

Division of Unemployment Insurance

Division of Industrial Affairs

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Office of Occupational and Labor Market Information

The combined efforts of these divisions and offices support the employment-related needs of nearly 400,000 Delaware workers and more than 20,000 businesses throughout the state.


U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, U.S. Sen Tom Carper and Delaware DOL Secretary Patrice Gilliam-Johnson met in Wilmington on Oct. 3 to tour local Apprenticeship and Training operations and participate in two roundtables to discuss the program’s progress.


U.S. DOL Perez tries his hand at welding at R.C. Fabricators in Wilmington. R.C. Fabricators Inc. , which employs several of DDOL’s apprentices , fabricates and erects structural steel and miscellaneous metals for the construction industry.