Youth Apprenticeships Link High School Workers to Employers
BY BILL RUBIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The Governor’s office recently announced a record $3.9 million in Youth Apprenticeship (YA) grants to 33 organizations across the state, including a $90,000 award to the St. Croix Valley Consortium and $312,300 to CESA 11.
This St. Croix Valley group serves the Hudson, New Richmond, and St. Croix Central school districts and CESA 11 has a larger reach in west central Wisconsin but includes the districts of Baldwin-Woodville, Glenwood City, River Falls, and Somerset in St. Croix County.
Organized by statute in 1991, YA is an increasingly important asset. It represents one component in addressing workforce shortages by linking students and local employers. High school juniors and seniors in YA receive technical and on-the-job training in occupations where they’ve expressed interest. Program areas are broad and diverse — agriculture, food, natural resources, architecture, construction, finance, health and science, IT, manufacturing, STEM, logistics, hospitality, lodging, and tourism. The positions are paid and may extend over a one- or two-year period. In addition, students receive valuable mentoring.
During YA, students take related high school or college classes to expand their work experiences. Upon successful completion, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development issues a Certificate of Occupational Proficiency to the students.
Employers who are looking for a built-in pipeline of young, energetic workers may wish to consider the Youth Apprenticeship option.
And to students seeking a test drive of career options, YA may be your high performance model.