MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced $3.9 million in Youth Apprenticeship (YA) grant awards today, which will go to 33 consortiums throughout Wisconsin to help more than 4,300 high school juniors and seniors gain academic and technical instruction with mentored on-the-job training in an occupational area of interest over one or two years. Milwaukee Public Schools is among the grantees that received up to $225,000 in funding to serve 250 students, representing a five-fold increase in youth participation from the current school year.
“Wisconsin’s nationally-recognized Youth Apprenticeship program helps employers across the state address the skills gap and remains a key talent development strategy,” Governor Walker said. “Increased grant funding for the upcoming school year ensures more Wisconsin high school students will become youth apprentices and graduate with the high-demand job skills and industry certification required by our businesses.”
Local YA programs are operated by regional consortiums that may include: school districts, Wisconsin Technical College System institutions, employers, registered apprenticeship programs and participating labor organizations, chambers of commerce and other workforce and economic development organizations. State General Purpose Revenue makes competitive grants available to DWD-approved YA consortiums to support student and employer recruitment, education, training, and evaluation. Grant guidelines for the 2017-18 school year encouraged YA consortiums to connect with employers who offer Registered Apprenticeships, bridging Wisconsin's model programs to provide high school students with a seamless transition from work-based learning into apprenticeship training and good-paying jobs.
"Local consortiums are critical to the success of the Youth Apprenticeship program, helping develop valuable job skills for students and a future pipeline of skilled talent for businesses,” DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. “I strongly encourage more youth and employers to explore participating in this important program."
Participating students may select in an occupational area of interest for their YA job training across 11 DWD-approved career clusters, including Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture and Construction; Art, Audio/Visual Technology and Communications; Finance; Health Science; Hospitality and Tourism; Information Technology; Manufacturing; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Transportation, Distribution and Logistics; and Marketing, newly developed in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Dane County School Consortium, part of the South Central Wisconsin YA Consortium, for the 2017-18 school year.
Wisconsin's YA program was authorized by state statute in 1991 as part of a statewide School-to-Work initiative. The Governor's 2017-19 budget proposal sustains demand-based YA funding with the ability to increase program support.
The 2017-18 Wisconsin YA Grant awardees are available online.
Learn more about YA here.