Q&A on the Apprenticeship Crosswalk Program with Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez

We recently sat down with Texas Workforce Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez and asked him about an amazing training opportunity in Texas. 

What is the crosswalk program? 
Apprenticeship Crosswalks have been developed to help Texas community colleges, employers, and training organizations work together to assure college credit for individuals who have completed a Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program.

Crosswalks were designed using Work Plans approved by the Department of Labor (DOL) for specific industry sectors. Work Plans were cross-walked with courses in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Workforce Education Curriculum Manual (WECM) by teams of community college faculty and industry-specific subject matter experts. A crosswalk program can be used by any college to give credit towards a degree based on the Department of Labor completion certificate.

  1. The crosswalks are designed to encourage and help colleges to be more efficient and consistent when developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and/or partnership with DOL-registered apprenticeship programs in Texas. 
  2. The crosswalks are designed to be used when an individual who has completed a DOL-registered apprenticeship requests transferability.
  3. The crosswalks are applicable only when a community college offers those courses/programs.
  4. The community college follows its own policies and procedures regarding transfer of credit or credit for prior learning.
  5. The community college decides which courses in a program will transfer. 

Who is eligible? 
An apprentice that has received a DOL completion certificate can work with a college to obtain credit toward a degree that offers education containing the WECM courses that have been articulated in the occupations. Note: not all colleges offer all WECM course that a particular occupation contains.

For students who complete a DOL-registered apprenticeship and wants to pursue a community college certificate or degree: 

1.       Student takes a copy of the certification of completion for a DOL-registered apprenticeship to a community college that has an MOU with the student’s registered apprenticeship organization. The student may also take the certificate of completion to any other community college in Texas that offers a program of study that is the same as the completed DOL-registered apprenticeship.

2.       Student visits with appropriate community college personnel to determine which courses the student can receive credit for, based on the completed DOL-registered apprenticeship.

3.       College procedures and policies dictate which courses the student may receive credit for.

Why should Texas AFL-CIO members consider if the crosswalk program is right for them? 
The crosswalk can offer benefits to any apprentice that has received a DOL completion certificate in the occupations. Occupations will continue to be articulated as need is expressed and there are registered apprenticeship programs and community colleges that will participate in the development. 

These crosswalks were developed to give Texas apprentices the opportunity to continue their educations in Texas and avoid the option of going out of state to pursue further education that gives credit for their DOL-registered apprenticeship completion. 

Field experts were utilized to put together the Apprenticeship Crosswalks. Eighteen crosswalks in various Career and Technical Education (CTE) fields were developed through this consultative process.

1.     Boilermaker
2.     Carpenter
3.     Concrete Worker
4.     Diesel
5.     Electrical
6.     Elevator Operations
7.     Glazer & Painter
8.     Heavy Equipment Operator
9.     HVAC
10.  Ironworker
11.  Machinist
12.  Masonry
13.  Mechatronics
14.  Millwright
15.  Pipefitter
16.  Plumber
17.  Sheet Metal
18.  Welding 

Where do I click or who do I call to apply? 
Use the links below to find a crosswalk program. You will need to reach out to a community college of the apprentices’ choice to see if the college will work with the articulation of their DOL-registered apprenticeship into credit.

Here is the link to “How to Use an Apprenticeship Crosswalk”
                https://twc.texas.gov/files/students/how-to-use-apprenticeship-crosswalk-twc.pdf 

Here are the links to crosswalks
                https://twc.texas.gov/files/students/apprenticeship-crosswalk-matrix-twc.pdf
                https://twc.texas.gov/files/students/apprenticeship-crosswalk-matrix-2-twc.pdf 

Any other comments on the program?
San Jacinto College was a major contributor to the development of the crosswalk. These crosswalks are also on the THECB website.

https://www.highered.texas.gov/institutional-resources-programs/public-universities-health-related-institutions/other-institutional-resources/crosswalks-linking-apprenticeship-training-and-workforce-courses/