We’ve devoted a lot of time and effort to explaining the many benefits of apprenticeships, but perhaps you’ve wondered about the other half of our name – the “Franklin” part. Perhaps you guessed that it has something to do with Benjamin Franklin, and you’re correct. Here’s why:
Unlike most of our Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin did not come from a background of wealth and privilege. He was born into a working-class Boston family, and before long decided that traditional schooling didn’t interest him. That he went on to achieve as much as he did – arguably more than any of his contemporaries – is inspiring enough, but what really hits home for us is that Franklin started out … as an apprentice.
An apprenticeship to a printer – pretty high-tech in those days – provided the path for Franklin to rise above his circumstances as his love for reading became a love for writing and printing. The end result was a man well-equipped to indulge his natural inquisitiveness and gift with words.
This recent article by Patrick Pizzella, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, tells the full story of the original Franklin apprenticeship, as well as the details of a recent and large expansion of apprenticeship programs in America.
More than two centuries later, apprenticeships are once again a path to a better life.