Merrill has most youth apprenticeship participants

December 16, 2011

From “Community support results on No. 1 ranking” — Congratulations, Merrill! You’re No. 1 in the state for the number of students involved in Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship, or YA, Program. Sixty Merrill High School juniors and seniors worked as youth apprentices last year, the highest single-school enrollment statewide. Merrill also had the second-highest district-wide enrollment behind Racine School District, which had 68 students enrolled.

So how does a small community in northern Wisconsin manage to be number one in a statewide program as broad as Youth Apprenticeship? The success is a result of outstanding collaboration between local businesses, an amazing YA coordinator, dedicated classroom teachers, motivated students, and supportive parents.

Marla Konkol is the YA coordinator at Merrill High School. “(YA) takes the classroom out of the high school and provides students with hands-on experiences in a local business. Employers (in Merrill) truly want to help students find a career they will enjoy for a lifetime.”

Youth apprentices work 450 hours at their worksite each year of their program while taking related classroom instruction. A worksite mentor helps them accomplish a list of competencies developed by the Department of Workforce Development with input from industry, so apprentices are learning and working at the same time.



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