Apprenticeship program needs business partners
March 31, 2014
From greenbaypressgazette.com: “Conversation: Apprenticeship program needs business partners” — By Rich Ryman – Press-Gazette Media talks to business leaders in its weekly conversation feature. This week, Lisa Schmelzer of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce discusses the chamber’s Youth Apprenticeship Program.
The program is in its 20th year in Brown County.
Q. What is the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Apprenticeship program?
A. The Youth Apprenticeship program is a statewide school-to-work initiative offered by the state Department of Workforce Development designed specifically for high school students. It integrates academic and technical instruction with paid, mentored work experience at an area business. The program is facilitated for 10 area school districts in and around Brown County by the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.
Q. How many youth are participating?
A. Of the 94 students we have participating in the program, we secured training site placements for 46, with many more students eagerly waiting to begin their on-the job training.
The breakdown of participants by school district is:
Ashwaubenon, 10; Howard-Suamico, 12; De Pere, eight; Denmark, eight; Green Bay, 26; Luxemburg-Casco, six; Pulaski, 11; Seymour, six; West De Pere, five, and Wrightstown, two.
Q. In which jobs are apprenticeships available? What determines availability?
A. The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Youth Apprenticeship program offers nine high-demand career areas with more than 40 career pathways.
Program areas, identified as high demand by the state Department of Workforce Development include:
• Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources, Animal Basics, Large Animal/Herd, Vet Assistant, Plant Basics, Crops, Greenhouse, Landscaping, Water Resources
• Arts, A/V Technology & Communications – Printing, Graphics
• Financial Services – Accounting, Banking, Insurance
• Health Science – Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant, Pharmacy, Ambulatory/Support Services (dietary, laboratory, imaging, optometry or physical therapy), Medical
• OfficeHospitality, Lodging, & Tourism – Dining, Kitchen, Front Desk, Housekeeping, Travel/Tours, Grounds & Maintenance, Meetings & Events, Marketing & Sales, Management
• Manufacturing – Assembly & Packaging, Manufacturing Processes, Machining, Operations Management, Welding, Equipment Maintenance
• STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) – Engineering Drafting, Mechanical Design, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering
• Transportation, Distribution & Logistics – Auto Collision, Auto Technology, Logistics/Supply Chain Management
Q. What are the programs greatest needs?
A. The program is in immediate need of more Brown County area businesses tfor on-the-job training in many of the program areas, especially health, auto tech/collision, STEM, finance and welding areas
Q. Have you had to turn students away because of a lack of employers?
A. The program doesn’t turn students away; students start their industry-related classes at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in anticipation of the job placement. However, students who are not placed in an on-the-job training position are missing the most important and crucial components of the program: the opportunity to start building valuable employability and industry skills.
Q. Anything you’d like to add that we did not cover?
A. With the projected workforce shrinkage due to the anticipated “Silver Tsunami,” — the large number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement — the Youth Apprenticeship program can be part of the solution. We bring goal-oriented youth into workplaces and industry paths and create highly skilled workers to fill businesses’ employment pipeline. Students in the program now may be the full-time employees businesses hire down the road.
If you’d like to learn how participating in Youth Apprenticeship may serve as a pipeline to your future work force, please contact Lisa Schmelzer, Youth Apprenticeship program manager, at (920) 593-3411 or email@example.com. More information on the program is available at www.titletown.org/YA.