Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed September 26 as Youth Apprenticeship Day in Wisconsin in support of efforts to get students engaged in career pathways and programs to ensure a robust talent pipeline for generations to come. The Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) with funds awarded to local consortiums that work with employers and high schools to pair students with an employer. The participating students are enrolled in academic classes while they are employed and receive hands-on instruction from a mentor. In the greater Fond du Lac area over 90 high school students from 10 area high schools participate in the program.

“Education includes preparing our high school students for the future,” said Lisa McArthur. “A big part of that is a work-based learning opportunity,” added McArthur, coordinator of the Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program for the Fond du Lac School to Work consortium at Envision Greater Fond du Lac. “Youth Apprenticeship integrates school-based and work-based learning to make students well rounded in the areas of occupational and soft skills. The YA program gives students a huge head start on their career development; plus, they also earn a credential which separates them from their peers. We are excited to highlight and show the importance of our Youth Apprenticeship program during YA Day on September 26.”

The Fond du Lac School to Work consortium has offered Youth Apprenticeship in the regional area for over 20 years. The YA program offers up to 11 career programs for students to pursue such as: Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture and Construction; Art, Audio/Visual Technology, and Communications; Finance; Health Science; Hospitality and Tourism; Information Technology; Manufacturing; Marketing; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; and Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics. These program areas provide students simultaneous work and learning offering dual credit/technical college articulations and career pathway choices. Students are interviewed and hired by the employer, participate in at least three evaluations per year, and must follow all work rules and safety regulations. At the completion of either a one-year or two-year YA program, they receive an industry recognized Certificate of Occupational Proficiency.

As part of Youth Apprenticeship Day, DWD and local partners are highlighting career pathways and programs that help students, teachers, parents, counselors, and others learn more about prospects for in demand occupations. Learn more about the Department of Workforce Development’s Youth Apprenticeship program by visiting http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/youthapprenticeship/.

The Fond du Lac School to Work consortium is an initiative of Fond du Lac Works, a division of Envision Greater Fond du Lac. For more information on the local Youth Apprenticeship program or how you can get involved, contact Lisa McArthur at 920-921-9500 or lmcarthur@envisiongreaterfdl.com.