During National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Nov. 13-17, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) acknowledged some of the organizations providing quality registered apprenticeship opportunities in Southern Virginia. Staff “popped in” on several of these partners to provide them with their 2023 ExTRA Awards.

Through ExTRA, which stands for Expanding Talent through Registered Apprenticeships, IALR works with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and employers to create apprenticeship programs in industries like construction, healthcare, early childhood education, manufacturing and information technology. The ExTRA program supports businesses across the 15 localities in GO Virginia Region 3.

“This year, we wanted to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week with our ExTRA partners by meeting them in their own spaces. The Partner Pop-ups provided the perfect informal opportunity to personally thank them for working with us, reiterate our support for their programs, and recognize their demonstrated investment in providing registered apprenticeship opportunities to train their workforce.”Natori Neal, IALR Apprenticeship Coordinator

As of November 2023, IALR has assisted regional companies with creating 18 apprenticeship programs, leading to the registration of more than 30 apprentices.

The 2023 ExTRA Awards recipients follow.

Outstanding Partner: Comfort Systems USA MidAtlantic

Comfort Systems USA MidAtlantic has demonstrated a strong commitment to collaboration and partnership with their apprenticeship program

Model Sponsor: Southside Mechanical Services

Southside Mechanical Services has consistently provided exceptional support, guidance and opportunities for apprentices.

Youth Apprenticeship Champion: Southern Virginia Higher Education Center

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center continuously supports and promotes youth apprenticeship in the region

Innovative Apprenticeship Program: Danville Life Saving and First Aid Crew, Inc.

The Danville Life Saving Crew has implemented innovative approaches or initiatives within their apprenticeship program, the first EMT apprenticeship program in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Excellence in Employee Development: Spitzer, Inc.

Spitzer Inc. has demonstrated focus on overall professional development and growth of their apprentices, providing opportunities for skill building and career development.