The Transition to a State Apprenticeship Agency

Colorado is officially a State Apprenticeship Agency!

Colorado is now a State Apprenticeship Agency. What Does that Mean?


Effective July 1, 2023, Apprenticeship Colorado at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is the Registration Agency for Federal purposes in the state of Colorado.  Apprenticeship Colorado is also referred to as the State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA).  Read the Office of Apprenticeship Bulletin recognizing Colorado as a new State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA).

The Colorado State Apprenticeship Agency’s role and responsibilities expand and/or change in the following ways:

  • Apprenticeship Colorado is recognized by the Office of Apprenticeship to act on behalf of the US Department of Labor (DOL) to register and oversee programs in Colorado for Federal purposes;
  • Apprenticeship Colorado staff serve as primary points of contact for registered apprenticeship Sponsors, employers, and apprentices in Colorado;
  • Apprenticeship Colorado may modify DOL-issued forms to satisfy State requirements; and
  • Apprenticeship Colorado will continue the utilization of RAPIDS for capturing and storing apprenticeship data. 

What Do Current Sponsors of Registered Apprenticeship Programs Need to Do?


  • Colorado Regulations for Apprenticeship: The adopted rules in the Code of Colorado Regulations (7 CCR 1108-1) that govern RAPs in Colorado.
  • Apprenticeship Sponsor Reference Guide: The go-to resource to help RAP Sponsors and their partners implement Program Standards. The Guide also includes information on outreach, hiring, program administration, and other tools to support your program's success. 
  • Colorado Requirements for Apprenticeship Sponsors: An overview of the requirements to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations as Colorado transitions to an SAA for existing Sponsors of Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Colorado.
  • RAPIDS Sponsor Video:  RAPIDS will remain the administrative system for the SAA. Sponsors are encouraged to review the 20-minute USDOL RAPIDS Sponsor Video. Please see the Sponsor Reference Guide for more information on what functions program Sponsors can directly manage in RAPIDS.

1. Revise Apprenticeship Program Standards: Every Sponsor will work with Apprenticeship Colorado’s Program Development (PD) team to update their Standards to reflect state regulations and branding. Sponsors can choose to update their Appendices in addition to the required updates.

To complete this action item, Sponsors may request support from the State Apprenticeship Agency by emailing apprenticeship@state.co.us.

Review the Colorado Requirements for Apprenticeship Sponsors

2. Confirm Information in RAPIDS:

  • Review and update the Point of Contact information (if necessary) in RAPIDS. 
  • Confirm a copy of my Standards is on file with the SAA. Sponsors can confirm that Apprenticeship Colorado has a copy by logging into RAPIDS and viewing “Documents”.

3. Update Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) poster and materials: Sponsors will take all steps to remain in compliance with EEO in Apprenticeship and will display the updated EEO posters in accordance with state regulations and update any documents associated with EEO with the information below:

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment 
Attention: State Apprenticeship Agency Director 
Office of the Future of Work 
633 17th St., Suite 201, Denver, CO 80202

This is not an all-inclusive list of responsibilities, but highlights key areas that require attention from Sponsors. For the complete list of responsibilities please refer to the Colorado Regulations for Apprenticeship and the Sponsor Reference Guide.

RAPIDS Administration

  • RAPIDS will continue to be the primary source of recordkeeping.
  • Apprentice information must be entered into RAPIDS within 45 days of program start date (regardless of whether related instruction or on-the-job learning begins first).
  • Apprentices must be completed, transferred, or suspended in RAPIDS and Apprentice Program Completion Certificates are issued in a timely manner.
  • Multi-employer agreements and employer information must be up-to-date in RAPIDS.

Work Process Schedule and Related Instruction Outline (Appendix A)

  • Programs must operate in alignment with the Standards outlined in Appendix A as it relates to the approach and term of apprenticeship, journeyworker ratio, apprentice wage schedule, probationary period, credit for prior experience, and selection procedures.
  • Sponsors can revise these Standards if they are not consistent with the training. 

Apprentice Agreement (Appendix B) 

  • Apprentices must be under agreement (regardless of whether related instruction or on-the-job learning begins first) within 45 days of program start date. 
  • RAPIDS will begin issuing a Colorado Apprenticeship Agreement which is similar to the ETA 671, but incorporates state law and regulations. The Colorado Apprenticeship Agreement is the preferred state agreement. Programs have the option to use an alternative agreement if in conformity with federal and state law and approved by the SAA. Regardless of the form, all programs operating in Colorado are required to comply with state and federal law. 

Employer Agreements (Appendix D) or Collective Bargaining Agreement

  • (If multi-employer program) Per federal and state regulations, employer partners must sign onto Apprenticeship Standards using Appendix D or if applicable, a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Employers who are already party to Standards do not need to re-sign Appendix D if the terms of the Employer Agreement are consistent. Sponsors must provide a copy of the finalized Standards (with all appendices) to employer partners once fully executed. 
  • (If multi-employer program) Sponsors are responsible for ensuring that all employers are in RAPIDS and that a copy of the final Standards is shared with all participating employers.

Additional Resources for Sponsors


What Kind of Support Sponsors Can Expect from Apprenticeship Colorado?
  • The Program Development Team can help Sponsors navigate any program development or expansion questions, such as how and when to add new occupations or employers to their existing program. They are also the point of contact for Sponsors needing to make Standard revisions to their programs.
  • The Quality Assurance (QA) Team is available to provide Sponsors with technical assistance and support to ensure that their program is not only compliant with the various state and federal laws, but that you also have the tools you need to deliver the highest quality program possible for your apprentices. Learn more about Quality Assurance and your apprenticeship program.
  • The Access Team can connect you with recruitment partners, including Workforce Centers, who can help you recruit diverse and qualified talent, host virtual job fairs, post online job postings, and maximize skills-based hiring.  


Meet the Apprenticeship Colorado Team


Develop an Apprenticeship Program Of Your Own

How Can Sponsors Connect to Apprenticeship Colorado for Additional Resources and Support?

The following are optional services provided by the Apprenticeship Colorado team that Sponsors can take advantage of.